Investment management firms have so far proceeded with caution on mobile technology. Now, with rapid technological developments, their clients and employees are driving change, compelling firms to figure out their mobile strategies and policies. Managers should be at the forefront of the mobile movement in order to maintain or increase satisfaction of their clients, as embracing technology may be the defining factor for success of many firms.
Morningstar’s ByAllAccounts reports that 67 percent of advisors who use mobile technology believe it has improved their productivity, and 50 percent say it enhances client meetings. Since mobile technology allows for efficient access to portfolio data, reporting and communication channels, clients will expect their investment managers to be better and more quickly prepared to address any inquiries or concerns.
Mobile users, particularly millennials, have revolutionized what it means to be communicative and efficient. They seek convenience in their often fast-paced lives, and mobility, especially by way of smartphones and tablets, seems to be their most popular means of doing so. Many conduct a great deal of personal business on mobile devices. Thus, it is no shock that mobility will also be expected in their professional lives, including the capability to access data and reports in real time, and even make business transactions on the go.
Investment managers who have extended mobile capabilities to clients typically offer mobile-friendly web portals where they can access investment and portfolio information at any time. Those who haven't risk being sidelined in favor of convenience and increased efficiency of competitors. The right path to mobility begins with a few simple steps:
- Define your internal mobile strategy: Will you offer devices for your employees to use with clients or set a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy? What type of devices will you approve and from which provider? How will you manage data security?
- Define your external mobile strategy: Create a mobile-friendly website to optimize your firm's capabilities and decide how much mobile functionality your firm will offer to clients. Also, choose to be platform inclusive and support iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
- Employ the right safeguards to protect your firm's and clients' information: Often, security poses the greatest challenge to adopting mobile devices. There are a number of safeguards firms can employ to ensure safety around mobility usage, such as logging off of any accounts, practicing caution when downloading and utilizing applications, operating only on secure Wi-Fi networks, etc.
It is important to find the best mode of mobile delivery that meets both compliance and security expectations as well as business needs. In the age of digital natives, offering mobile capabilities for real-time access of data, portfolios, and reports, is a great way to gain the competitive advantage and increased credibility across the financial industry.
As more firms begin to define their mobile strategies and offer mobile capabilities, I’d like to hear from this community. What best practices do you have for going mobile? How does mobility benefit your firm?
For more information on going mobile, check out Mobility in Investment Management: Tracking the Trends.
Todd Gotula is EVP and Chief Technology Officer at Advent Software