What trends are getting underway that people may not know about but will be important?
COVID has disrupted a long-standing norm in the financial services industry of working solely out of an office and has shifted the landscape toward a more flexible remote working environment. This transformation in flexibility toward remote working has benefits that include reduced commute times and being able to work from anywhere – something that more robust cloud and technology capabilities are empowering. But at the same time, management is trying to evaluate how has this impacted the productivity of employees. In some cases, employees think productivity has increased because the hours that were previously spent commuting to and from offices is no longer a factor and has enabled them to expand their working hours increase productivity. In other cases, processes such as client onboarding and training, which have historically been done in-person, have seen productivity decrease because it takes much longer to acclimate new users and incorporate new team members into the company culture.
What are your customer’s pain points and how have they changed from 1 year ago?
Due to remote work and distributed workforces in the last year, the largest customer pain points have been accessibility to timely, accurate data and ensuring that cybersecurity around that data is up to par. Having a single source of truth internally that everyone has access to at their fingertips without asking anybody for data is the most important way for firms to move forward. The data islands, such as Excel spreadsheets, prime broker data CSVs, fund administrator data, and analyst credit analysis have to be consolidated, cleansed, and readily available so that team members can manage them on their own schedules. With a distributed workforce, putting cybersecurity systems in place for data loss protection, anomaly monitoring, and phishing attacks becomes very important to protect a firms’ data.
How is your target market leveraging technology to improve their workflows and productivity?
Asynchronous communication and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, One Drive, Sharepoint, and Slack have helped improve internal workflows and productivity for firms. We’re also seeing an uptick in the use of public cloud technologies for data like Snowflake and managed databases such as Amazon, Redshift, SQL Server, RDS, and Azure. At the same time, while all of the latest innovations are being adopted, it is important that firms maintain consistency and governance around how the tools are used. There needs to be a healthy, company-wide balance in the way firms employ security and flexibility while maintaining the goal of improving overall productivity, as opposed to employees making bespoke decisions that may lead to data loss or additional security risks.