How Wealth Management Digital Transformation Can Work For You
When James Owen was 70, he realized it was time to take his health seriously. Soon, he was in the best shape of his life — stronger and healthier than he was in high school. Today, his Just Move! approach to fitness has made him a household name among older generations who value their health and strength.
Wealth management firms, like human bodies, tend to get less agile, efficient, and appealing as time goes on. Like human bodies, wealth management firms can reinvent themselves by embracing transformation.
Digital transformation is a critical tool for wealth management firms that are serious about providing value to their customers and staying competitive in the digital future.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a foundational shift in the ways businesses operate and deliver value to their customers.
In simple terms,
digital transformation describes a business’s process of integrating digital technology into various aspects of its operations, fundamentally changing how the business operates.
Businesses achieve digital transformation in a variety of ways, such as using technology to develop new goods and services, enhancing their existing offerings, or even using technology to create entirely new business models.
Digital transformation has been ubiquitous in recent years, with nearly every industry transforming to some extent. For example, retailers have moved to e-commerce platforms with dynamic pricing, the healthcare industry has replaced some paper-based records with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), and the manufacturing industry has embraced the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital inventory management to optimize their efficiency.
Digital transformation is both comprehensive and continuous, meaning it isn’t a one-time change — it’s an ongoing process as businesses discover new ways to use technology.
By the same token, every organization falls somewhere on the spectrum of digital transformation, with tech leaders like Google or Meta setting the curve while more traditional businesses may still favor non-digital tools over their electronic counterparts. Every organization has the opportunity for continued digital transformation at a pace that’s appropriate for its size and industry.
What Does Digital Transformation Mean for Wealth Management?
Digital transformation has already revolutionized retail, healthcare, and manufacturing, but what does that revolution look like for the wealth management industry?
The wealth management industry faces various challenges ranging from changing client expectations and increased competition to a rapidly-evolving regulatory landscape. Digital transformation in wealth management can help firms overcome these challenges and remain competitive.
Increasingly, clients are expecting digital-first experiences. Wealth management firms who fail to provide that digital experience risk losing clients to more tech-savvy competitors.
In addition to allowing your clients to view and access their portfolios and communicate with advisors online, digital transformation can help your firm provide more personalized and targeted services. By using data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), wealth management firms can gain insights into the needs and preferences of their clients and tailor their services accordingly.
However, digital transformation does not just face outward: digital transformation also helps wealth management firms streamline their internal operations, which in turn reduces overhead costs and increases efficiency. By automating routine tasks and digitizing paper-based processes, wealth management firms can free up their advisors to focus on more valuable tasks with fewer distractions.
Implementing Digital Transformation Today
Not all digital transformations are good: think of Juicero, the $700 device that essentially squeezed bags of juice, or Quibi, the short-form streaming service that shut down barely 6 months after its debut. Digital isn’t always better, so a successful digital transformation requires the right approach.
Define a Digital Vision
Your digital vision should articulate how you intend to use technology to improve your organization. A good digital vision should align with your overall business strategy by creating value for your clients and differentiating your firm from your competitors.
Partnering with companies like PetakSys helps you define your digital vision by identifying your top opportunities and fostering an understanding of how custom software helps to bridge the gaps in your technology infrastructure.
Build a Digital Culture
You can’t brute force digital transformation by simply bringing in new technology — digital transformation requires a transformation in organizational culture as well.
Wealth management firms should foster a culture that embraces experimentation, collaboration, and innovation. Digital transformation is not an overhaul of your organizational culture but the logical result of living out that culture.
This could involve investing in new tools for your clients and your employees to use, and providing training opportunities for existing employees who are passionate about progress.
As a wealth management firm, you should evaluate your current technology infrastructure to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. Once you know where you currently stand, it’s easier to plot a path forward as you assess new technologies and determine which opportunities are most relevant to your organization’s unique needs.
Technology is not just a hoop to jump through to keep up with your competition — it’s also an opportunity to launch yourself to greater success and find new ways to thrive.
For example, data analytics is a critical part of digital transformation which allows wealth management firms to make more informed decisions, while automation tools can streamline processes like client onboarding, portfolio rebalancing, and client reporting.
In the last few decades, customer expectations have risen sharply. Today, customers don’t just expect goods and services, they also expect positive experiences. It isn’t enough for your experience to be tolerable — if you want to set yourself apart from your competitors, your experiences should be desirable.
Prompted in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have shifted to a digital-first mindset. Especially in the world of wealth management, your customers expect a seamless digital-first experience, and you should do everything you can to provide that experience to them. One way to prioritize your customers’ experiences is to allow them to access their portfolios and communicate with their advisors via wealth management platform, without needing to make a phone call or visit an office.
Digital transformation is neither a sprint nor a marathon — it’s an ongoing journey. Staying engaged with this continuous process requires agility and flexibility.
Wealth management firms need to be able to adjust and adapt not only to changing market conditions and customer needs but also to changes in technology. Embodying this agile mindset involves the willingness to experiment and iterate — through deliberate, thoughtful progress, you can continuously improve your digital capabilities without compromising the value you offer your clients.
Do I Need Digital Transformation?
Technology changes every day, and businesses are faced with a never-ending barrage of decisions. Among them is the decision to stick with what they know, or to adapt to new technologies and the new expectations that come with them.
Digital isn’t always better, but frequently “better” requires digital transformation. To provide the most value to your customers as well as the most value to yourself, digital transformation makes use of the best available technology for your specific organization and your specific needs.
Where to start? Partners like PetakSys can help guide your journey with industry best practices, custom software, and powerful third-party integrations.
Do you need a digital transformation? Only if you want to offer your customers more value while also improving your operational efficiency and poising yourself for success. Digital transformation isn’t a one-time fix, but it is the path forward for firms of any size.