So you want to go digital?

Financial Advisory

Charlie Martin

CRMDigitalDigital platformDigitalisationEngagementFinancial adviserFinancial AdvisoryFinancial servicesStrategyTechnologyWinning Advisers


  • Most companies realise their IT systems are overly complex, having been added to multiple
    times over the years without much effective pruning. The most common response is to
    simplify systems using new technologies like the public cloud and SaaS platforms, which
    help to gain speed and reduce costs. However, these fixes are temporary. Complexity
    inexorably creeps back over time, due to the fundamental nature of people and
  • In the long run, managing IT complexity is a function of changing behaviours. After-the-fact
    technical fixes need to be complemented with an approach that seeks to curb complexity
    before it is created. It’s not that people don’t buy in to the logic, it’s that they revert to
    their old behaviours, because they are deeply ingrained. So, the biggest obstacle is mindset
  • While digitisation of your offering appears to be crucial, decision-makers need to
    understand the implication of choices on the complexity of digital platforms and adapt their
    business models accordingly e.g. by bringing together cross-functional teams, including IT,
    advisers, technical analysts, and others
  • Consensus to move from embracing to championing technology – “we are on a journey”

Key Issues and Challenges:

  • Most firms have embarked on technology strategy – different stages of exploration, embracing and
    championing technology
  • Define evaluation criteria to suit your business model and priorities – importance of getting it right!
  • Develop an understanding of what’s out there. Research the market & seek feedback from existing
  • Due diligence – data security and hosting arrangements are critical
  • Not just about cost of ownership – how can technology support my business growth and client
  • Identify where integrations exist and if not, ask the question – API’s are more common with
    technology suppliers
  • Can technology be my differentiator – advisers & client retention can be positively impacted if done

Conclusion and Solutions:

  • Map the process to identify the hot spots
  • Prioritise where technology can play a significant role in delivering efficiency
  • Identify what processes can be systemised without impacting value – gift of time for more productive areas
  • Collaboration across teams will get you there more quickly – not just an executive decision!
  • Collaboration with technology partner will deliver value long term
  • Phased approach – agile delivery typically works better than big bang but understand the end game!
  • Data migration of legacy data – data cleansing can be an expensive exercise but worth while
  • Businesses increasingly valued on the back of data quality and MI – get it right first time where possible!
  • Blood, sweat and data will help drive your business in the future
  • Technology can also help to reduce risk – data protection and secure communication post GDPR!
  • Clients are keen to collaborate with advisers through technology – hybrid model is favoured!
  • Adoption strategies need to be inclusive with clients to maximise benefits
  • Segmentation of clients by engagement can help drive adoption and deliver value quicker
  • Develop your own client and staff e-rating to drive adoption -
  • Regular evaluation of adoption – what’s working well and where more effort is required. If it moves,
    measure it!
  • Digital engagement of clients is a strategy not a website or CRM – join the dots!
  • Develop tactics to influence in-house teams and client behaviours
  • Research shows that firms and advisers which embrace, and champion technology deliver better results!
  • Digital is a strategy, not a tactic. Transition over time but understand the end game! Pace of changemeans you need to learn and embrace quickly. The next generation is on the horizon

Paul Morley, Intelliflo

Dave Edwards, Independent