From our COO Bob Lloyd
The technology landscape has been changing rapidly, creating incredible opportunities for companies of all sizes. Software as a Service (SAAS) offerings have allowed businesses to dramatically simplify hardware and infrastructure while opening up data access to allow for easy integration.
While there are many pre-built offerings that can be purchased off-the-shelf, some companies, like Revolution Partners, are savvy enough to customize a technology offering for their specific needs and goals using data in the cloud.
Financial business operations often require multiple systems performing functions simultaneously. Once companies began to imagine streamlining the flow of client and account information, they were faced with a question: do we choose a single source and sacrifice the performance of specialized systems, or do we pick up different features from a best-of-breed approach and push data between them? Even this distinction is blurred by recent advances.
Networking around a main hub provides the look and feel of a single system user experience. With customization, we have integrated what we consider best-of-breed offerings. For example, we can use a document management system that also serves our client experience platform with electronic lockboxes. We have portfolio account systems that move data in real-time to our client relationship management system. These systems and others are integrated with workflow and communication systems that we have customized for our most frequent business activities.
Dramatic evolutions in technology processes help not just Revolution Partners, but the entire financial industry more quickly stand up technology offerings and provide useful tools that increase productivity without sacrificing flexibility. Crucially, businesses can make these improvements at an upfront cost that is much lower than what it was historically.
Some in the mass media, for example The Economist and CNBC, have called this recent acceleration a “FinTech Revolution.” Though their research and articles are typically focused on tradition retail banking, the principles are similar for businesses like ours providing financial advice to clients.
What exactly does “Revolution” mean in this context? And how do we avoid letting the new landscape cycle through persistent historical problems? Some of these problems include:
1. Architecting systems in isolation from end-user experience;
2. Selecting systems that, while best-of-breed, are inherently different in their data structure and require data re-entry;
3. Adopting rapidly evolving offerings that change course too quickly to maintain in a network;
4. Getting so caught up in rolling out new tools that user training and adoption falls by the wayside.
As an RIA with long-term plans for the future, Revolution Partners must sprint to capitalize on technological developments, but do so with a conscientious connection to our user groups, soliciting input and remaining open to changes.
We know from experience that financial advisors are actively seeking tools that free up time to spend on meaningful activities, and our clients want to know that we understand them enough to be proactive when it comes to planning for their Life’s WorthTM.