managemnet company strategy managemanet Video Quick Take: Advisor360°’s Jed Maczuba on the Digital Transformation of Wealth Management

Video Quick Take: Advisor360°’s Jed Maczuba on the Digital Transformation of Wealth Management

Video Quick Take: Advisor360°’s Jed Maczuba on the Digital Transformation of Wealth Management post thumbnail image

Todd Pruzan, HBR

But, digital transformation is really a necessary part of any business model. How do your customers think about digital transformation these days?

Jed Maczuba, Chief Technology Officer

That’s a great question, Todd. I don’t think anyone can argue against the importance of digital transformation in a business these days. So we all know that’s important. Advisor360° recently completed a survey of the wealth management industry. And the research came back clear. Subpar technology costs business advisors.

And in our survey results, 65% of advisors reported losing business because their technology failed them. Advisors in the wealth management space see technology as an extension of their practice. So new capabilities and innovations have a significant impact on how they engage with their clients, how they establish relationships, and maintain those relationships over time.

So while the survey is focused on the industry, there is no doubt that these results really reflect a greater sentiment on the importance of technology. The challenge that companies face, as you mentioned, is really succeeding in these transformation efforts between legacy platforms, legacy processes coupled with trying to run the business in a time of change, the many choices in technology, the resource war around talent. This has actually become a seemingly insurmountable problem for companies to face.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

It seems like a lot to deal with. You mentioned that achieving a successful digital transformation is difficult. How does a company figure out how to continue down that path to increase its chances of success?

Jed Maczuba, Chief Technology Officer

Well, that’s the million dollar question, Todd. And that’s one, for sure, I think a lot and my clients think a lot. And there’s plenty of guidance on how to set yourself up for success and how to identify risks and mitigate those along the way. But for me, it really starts with a matter of choice, a choice of solution, whether you build, buy, or merge to deliver the business value you want to achieve.

So let’s break it down a bit. When you buy a solution from a third party, you should consider how well your vendor understands your business and what you are trying to achieve. So this is the difference between horizontal and vertical SaaS companies. The case for vertical SaaS companies is that industries have nuances that need to be understood.

For example, in my industry, we not only understand how the broker-dealer, advisor-client relationship works, but also understand the regulatory environment in which they operate. So regardless of the SaaS model, the key thing is to make sure the vendor understands what it takes to build and support enterprise-class software. So looking at things like product roadmaps, R&D spending, how they support enhancements or configurations specific to your client are all questions to ask.

And if you look at the second option around integration, which is really about combining best of breed solutions, you have to consider both the end user experience and the data aspects of that integration. Solving the swivel chair problem is not just about solving the glass problem. Having multiple disparate systems and ultimately disparate data underneath can really hurt the productivity of production users – and can make an organization worse off in the long run.

So if you decide that construction is your path, the third option, well, that’s a different topic altogether.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

Different topic, actually. If companies can choose to do a combination of building, buying, and integrating, how does Advisor360° think about building software?

Jed Maczuba, Chief Technology Officer

As a software company, we pride ourselves on good engineering practices and the nuts and bolts of building code. But I’m also inspired by low-code solutions these days.

Whether for ourselves, as a software company, or for our clients as they look to do some aspects of the build, I think low-code solutions actually provide some opportunity. . They are not entirely new, but recent advances in the space have really brought them to light as an opportunity to help with some of the construction challenges we have.

I’ll give you a specific example of one of the more difficult problems in the wealth management space, and that’s account opening or digital onboarding, which is how you bring clients to advisors and their assets and accounts online, and the goal is to make it a streamlined, straight-through, fully digital experience. Banishing pen, paper, and wet signatures, it screams digital transformation.

In developing our digital onboarding solution, my team chose to focus on a low-code development approach. In this approach, inputs are gathered in a business-friendly format by our product owners. And that is used to generate the code – everything from the user interface to the business rules that control the screen flow to the elements that are on the screen to the validation that takes place. The team wanted an architecture that would really reduce the burden on engineering resources and make something more responsive to changes, which happen a lot in the space, and support client-specific assurances that our customers need.

The architecture we put in place puts more responsibility in the hands of the business, and in our case the product owners, which helps speed up development. Our feeling about the long term, with an approach like this, the maintenance and support of the application is expected to be much lower, and much easier than if we follow traditional development methods. We actually go through the system development lifecycle and involve engineers in making coding changes.

This is not to say that low code is a panacea to all problems, but companies need to understand where their strengths lie and focus on those. I think low-code solutions provide an opportunity to achieve what you want to do.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

That approach sure sounds like it makes a lot of sense. Thank you. Jed, any final thoughts on digital transformation?

Jed Maczuba, Chief Technology Officer

Digital transformation, as we say, is difficult. It’s more than murder. It really comes down to making basic choices in the beginning, choosing the right partner, choosing the right approach to how you want to solve the problem and making sure your partner or you have good engineering practices to do it. be true and be successful in it.

At the end of the day, change is not a transaction. The choices you make actually have a long tail, beyond the implementation timeline. Ongoing support and maintenance for the software is a factor far greater than the original cost. So I want to wrap that up, Todd.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

This is a good place to end. Jed. Thank you so much for the great conversation and all your insights today.

Jed Maczuba, Chief Technology Officer

Thanks for having me, Todd. I appreciate it.

Todd Pruzan, HBR

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