Lack of integration cited as advisers biggest hurdle for digital solution adoption

New research shows that a lack of integration between digital tools and platforms is the greatest hurdle for advisers looking to better utilize automated and online solutions.

According to Origo, a significant proportion of advisers who are striving to improve their efficiency are having to take a hybrid approach to their business. For example, in addition to their digital and automated processes, an aspect of them would remain manual.

A survey from Platforum looked at the potential reasons for advisers being held back in respect of their movement towards digitisation, revealing that integration between systems was the greatest obstacle, cited by 17% of respondents. Other reasons included the processes of providers at 13%, staff training at 11%, and issues relating to security at 10%.

Commenting on the research was Managing Director of Origo, Anthony Rafferty. He said: “There is an increasing need within the advisory market to automate processes and use digital solutions, to help create greater efficiencies, deliver an improved service to clients, and to meet clients’ digital expectations across the board.

“Systems integrations serve our industry by reducing costs and delivering data quickly and securely. Hence, rather than just being a “nice to have”, they have become the expected norm for the adviser.

“The current major technological upgrades, or re-platforming exercises, occurring as platforms look to keep pace with technological change – combined with increased sensitivity around client data as a result of MiFID II and GDPR – also have thrown systems integration into the spotlight, as advisers attempt to keep their clients’ information up-to-date amidst the upheaval.”

He went on to highlight how new systems such as the Pensions Dashboard would surely be a step in the right direction, pointing out the demand for simplification where consumers are concerned.

“And the need for speedy, secure connectivity will only increase as the Open Banking and Pensions Dashboard initiatives progress and new entrants join the ranks of the adviser fintech firms with different ways of working.

“There is no doubt that now is the time for the industry to review how it approaches integrations. Multiple bespoke, point-to-point integrations increase risks, costs and complexities for the industry. There is a need for simplification.

“The focus should be on making integrations more efficient, sustainable, less sporadic and more wide-spread – ultimately delivering improved outcomes for the consumers.”

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