Top 10 Technology Trends for Advisors and Their Partners: Part 1, the Big Picture

There are some important technology trends that are making a major impact on the lives of financial advisors, broker-dealers and custodians. Ignored, and these trends have the potential to put you out of business. Embraced, and these trends can increase your revenue, profits, employee satisfaction and client satisfaction. In this, the first in a 12-part blog series, we will discuss each trend, what its short-term implications are, and what you need to consider over the long term. 

These trends vary in how far they’ve developed and in how far-reaching they can be. Some of them are impacting your business today and it’s likely that you are acting on them as I write. Others are issues and opportunities that might not yet be on your radar, but will likely impact your future. 

For example, crowd sourcing is an example of a trend you’ll likely need to deal with in the future. Most firms aren’t doing anything with crowd sourcing at the moment, but it is going to be increasingly important way in which firms accomplish tasks. On the other hand, a trend like mobility is, most likely, already impacting the way your firm works today. 

Depending upon the type of firm you have, and your role within it, some trends may be more relevant to you than others, and some might not affect you at all. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand the direction in which things are moving. Some of these macro trends might well be affecting your clients and other key stakeholders including advisors, shareholders, vendors, and others. Even though a technology trend might not impact your daily life, it’s important to remember that it may be dramatically changing the lives of others. 

Over the course of this series, we’ll discuss each of these 10 technology trends in depth: 

  1. Increasing technology capability (bandwidth, storage, computing power)
  2. Mobility
  3. The integrated workstation
  4. Integration
  5. Workflow
  6. Cloud-based computing
  7. Outsourcing
  8. Social media
  9. Crowd sourcing
  10. Big data

The above trends list is not in any order of importance, as the importance will vary based on who you are, your business model etc.  However, we’ve grouped the trends into three broad categories. The first, “Computing, Storage and Mobility,” encompasses trends one and two. The second category, “Advisor Workstation and Software Trends,” is represented in trends three through seven. The final category is “The Consumerization of IT” and includes trends eight, nine and ten. These final three represent trends borne out of the consumer world that are impacting the financial services world. 

As we highlight these trends in upcoming posts, keep in mind that each represents a change that could be a challenge. However, any growing pains will be worth it in the long term, as each trend represents new opportunities for your firm to increase revenue, become more efficient, and better serve clients.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions along the way as everyone has a different perspective and set of experiences.  Please e-mail ssegal@actifi.com with thoughts or comments and we will do our best to address them in upcoming blogs. 

View Spenser Segal's previous practice management primer blog series.

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