In a recent webinar, Bob Conchiglia, VP, Advisory Sales for SS&C Advent (www.ssctech.com/advent), sat down with Joel Bruckenstein, Producer of the T3 Technology Hub (www.T3TechnologyHub.com) and the T3 Enterprise and T3 Advisor Conferences (www.TechnologyToolsForToday.com), to talk about key opportunities and challenges with technology for financial advisors. The conversation stemmed from this year’s T3 Advisor Conference where it was clear that the pace of change with advisor tech continues to accelerate.
Joel shared that he started T3 because he saw a gap in the industry. “I saw the importance technology would have in advisor offices and advisors not doing enough about it,” he said.
IMPORTANCE OF TECH DECISIONS
Showing the importance of tech decisions, data indicates that CEOs of advisory firms still make most of the decisions around tech investments. However, Bruckenstein sees that more CEOs are hiring younger professionals who are tech savvy and getting them involved in those decisions. Regardless of the decision maker, tech decision processes can be long and complex. “There is decision-making paralysis because advisors are conservative by nature. For many advisors I work with, the overriding philosophy is if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” he said. “Firms late to the game will suffer.”
Joel provided important consideration steps when researching new technology, including:
ROBOS, ROBOS EVERYWHERE
No discussion of tech trends would be complete without incorporating robos or digital client experience. “If nothing else, robos showed us just how poor the average experience was from the client point of view,” Bruckenstein said. “In all industries today, client experience is key. Advisors need to provide multiple channel access, 24/7 service and friction-less engagement.”
Bruckenstein went as far to say that advisors who don’t move up the digital spectrum won’t remain competitive. “They might keep existing clients but won’t attract new clients.”
INTRUSION TESTING “A MUST”
In other areas of technology, Bruckenstein highlighted financial planning and cyber security as being important and on the rise. “Financial planning is in vogue and I only see that accelerating,” he said. In terms of cyber security, he doesn’t believe that advisors are doing enough but there is movement in the right direction. “There are very few firms that I see who have a culture for cyber security awareness.” Most firms haven’t not had intrusion detection performed, from what he sees. “If you haven’t done intrusion detection, you need to do it. If you have done it, you need to do it again.”
Looking ahead, Bruckenstein shared some thoughts on what we’re likely to see next in the advisor technology space. In his view, next gen technologies coming soon in our industry are voice, big data, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality, and blockchain. He also encouraged advisors to challenge their technology providers about tools they may use in other areas of their life and discuss applicability to how they could use it with clients.
For all of the tech trend insights, watch the full replay of the webinar.