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Money Marketing: Cloud nine: The next big thing in adviser tech

22 August, 2023
clock 6 MIN READ

Advisers are facing tough decisions about how to allocate limited resources in today’s economic environment, with 85% expecting a rise in overhead costs over the next six months.

While it may be difficult to think about the long term when dealing with short-term market pressures, technology shouldn’t be neglected or sacrificed.

Investing in technology today can help overcome many of tomorrow’s challenges. It should be hardwired into advisers’ visions for the future.

The future of wealth management is rooted in a personalised, connected experience, with data-driven insights at its core.

While artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be dominating headlines today, migrating to the cloud could be the biggest endeavor for advisers to meet clients’ expectations. In fact, 67% of wealth management firms report improving data-driven decision-making as a top strategic priority.

Skepticism of cloud computing power has increasingly abated as financial institutions actively invest in technology. For example, the London Stock Exchange Group announced a significant partnership with Microsoft to build its data infrastructure using Microsoft Cloud.

While financial firms are joining the race to advance their technological propositions, tech giants are simultaneously investing in cloud technologies and startups, which will likely accelerate the growth of new innovations and the adoption of cloud services across industries. Bank of America reports Google has already invested $120bn in AI and cloud computing since 2016.

Advisers are striving to improve their value proposition to increase client engagement and satisfaction and remain competitive, and many are turning to their technology strategies.

In a digital-first world, clients expect on-demand access to their finances and advisers are embracing the cloud to meet those demands through a self-service “intelligent desktop”. The cloud provides them the opportunity to tailor advice and build stronger client relationships through real-time information delivery and data access, customised reporting and integrated workflows.

As firms race to adopt a cloud-first strategy, there is a rapidly growing cloud marketplace for new platforms and applications. The competition to develop the most cutting-edge cloud technologies will only accelerate as it becomes a top priority for financial leaders.

When advisers build a roadmap to align technology and business strategies, the path forward becomes clearer and more manageable. It’s important to find the right provider to partner with on the journey.

The first step is to understand what tools, processes, applications and data access can connect them to the next generation of clients — and how cloud-based technology can drive their seamless integration and operational efficiencies on a unified platform.

Transitioning to the cloud with an open-architecture approach enables data-sharing and integrated workflows best suited for advice businesses.

For organisations assessing mergers and acquisitions as a component of their growth strategies, the need for an efficient—and quick—integration into a single, unified technology infrastructure becomes even more paramount.

According to research conducted by international law firm Mayer Brown, deals to acquire advice firms were up 11% last year. And with 17% of advisers over 60 years of age, there’s a larger opportunity to connect to that next generation of clients.

Not only can the cloud help ease and expedite the integration of firms operating on disparate platforms, it can prove a competitive advantage for client acquisition and retention.

Eliminating data silos is critical to the aggregation and reporting needed for an on-demand wealth management experience. But a strong data strategy helps ensure an adviser’s ability to protect that data. When it comes to client and business data, there’s nothing more important than security.

Today, advisers must balance providing too much advice with a personalised client experience that considers the next best action for scaling that advice towards goals.

Cloud services won’t eliminate the value of a personalised advice approach, but they will enable advisers to do their job better—whether that’s customising offerings and advice at scale, simplifying day-to-day tasks for efficiencies or building stronger relationships with clients.

Leveraging the cloud to integrate technology systems and data can provide the antidote to uncertainty: knowledge. Delivering real-time data across both the business and a client’s financial picture translates into valuable insights. And that enables clients and advisers to make confident decisions and power the future of wealth.

This article first appeared on Money Marketing.

Sanjay Sharma

Executive Vice President and Global Head of Private Banking & Wealth Management

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