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Why choosing a new portfolio management system can be like buying an iPhone

All long-term purchasing decisions have a fundamental question at their core: can this product or service meet my needs today whilst being able to meet my changing needs tomorrow? It’s applicable across the board, from clothing and the change of the seasons and trends, to property and the different life circumstances you can find yourself in. This is no different for the investment management industry, where firms must find an investment management solution (IMS) which has the characteristics to adapt and evolve to their changing requirements and future growth plans.

Our everyday, personal technology has been developed perfectly to resonate with the life of the consumer. Through the development of APIs, smartphones and tablets can be customised to reflect what the user wants today, but with the full flexibility to develop as lifestyle, interests or preferences change. The hardware becomes a secondary concern because if it becomes outdated or lost, the user can be safe in the knowledge that all of their information is safely stored in the cloud, ready to be restored and developed further. The eagerness to get our hands on the latest personal technology, whether it is an iPhone or another device, often means we are in a constant cycle of shifting data to a new model.

So why does this mindset not translate to making purchasing decisions as a professional procurer of technology? Arguably, it is even more important, particularly in industries where innovation moves quickly. For example, the technology available to asset managers now compared to a decade ago presents a stark difference, but large parts of the industry are still wedded to legacy systems which hamper efficiency and only fulfil simple, box-ticking tasks. Laggards are likely to face a significant competitive disadvantage, missing out on vital data insights and workflow enhancement offered by the innovative and future-proofed solutions disrupting the market.

The importance of finding the right IMS is exacerbated by time-intensive procurement exercises and multi-year contracts as an industry standard. This makes it essential that the technology is not only fit for purpose today but has the opportunity to evolve as the business does too. Many firms are also fearful of the possible disturbance of onboarding a new system, and often unaware of the speed at which new technology can be implemented. Thanks to the adaptable and agile nature of modern industry technology, we have seen onboarding times reduced to less than a quarter of what they were a decade ago, creating huge cost savings by not having to pay for dual systems during a transition. We can draw comparisons to upgrading a handset to the latest iPhone, where users are assured their new device can be ready to use almost immediately due to the automatic set up feature. Cloud technology in investment management is no different, and provides one example of how the industry can benefit from the agile nature of modern solutions. Firms should not have to worry about being weighed down by the long integration periods of yesteryear, as well as the heavy cost burden linked to this. After all, efficiency is a crucial factor in digital transformation, so it is only right that implementing digital transformation is efficient too.

As the pandemic has shown us, it’s impossible to predict the future. Both opportunities and challenges will present themselves.Those best placed with agile, cloud-based technology will be able to respond quickly and effectively. Cloud-based platforms can ensure agility is put at the heart of the procurement process, allowing buyers to benefit from intuitive systems and enhanced security today, giving them peace of mind that through software upgrades and APIs, their systems will be fit for purpose for many years to come.

While some corners of the asset management industry are already engaging with this new outlook, there is still a massive opportunity for firms to utilise the benefits of digital transformation which can be driven by an open-minded approach to technology. In the coming years it can be as common as buying an iPhone, with firms large and small benefitting from the adaptable, agile and transformative aspects of modern portfolio management systems.


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Kristoffer Fürst

Kristoffer Fürst


Limina Financial Systems

Member since

08 Apr 2021



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