Tech for Good – The results are in!
14 Dec 2021
The pensions and lifetime savings industry, like many information-centric industries, is currently undergoing a massive digital transformation. The pandemic has accelerated many firms digital plans as employees, clients and markets have adapted to a new default position of remote working. This has prompted many of us to consider how our organisations are using technology. Are they moving quickly enough? What does all this change mean for our clients; our teams and for us as individuals?
These were some of the themes we discussed with attendees of our recent "Tech For Good" session at last month's technology-centric Better Futures event.
Richard Allen, an expert in Personal Wealth recently invited Ben (a software developer in our digital team) and me (as a digital leader) to join him in a structured conversation around the good, the bad and the ugly of tech adoption in our industry.
Our audience was made up of a broad range of pension trustees, financial and investment advisors, FinTech leaders and technologists. With over 100 attendees, the result was a diverse set of perspectives.
The response to our interactive polling was encouraging. Most respondents felt optimistic that their organisation has acted to leverage tech, with two thirds rating their firm’s current technology adoption as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. There was also a general feeling that the rate of technology adoption was satisfactory, with a similar number of respondents placing the pace of technology uptake at either ‘Quickly’ or ‘Very Quickly’ to meet the needs of a more digitally focussed world.
We later asked what would cause our attendees to use more ‘tech for good’. It was apparent that the key drivers of technology adoption were the creation of a better client experience and improved efficiency, with 74% and 63% of respondents respectively stating that these factors would help their organisation use more tech.
But perhaps what was surprising was that in spite of this promising attitude, around 70% of respondents to our survey felt that whilst tech expertise was filtering in to the individual retail and consumer markets, this was happening too slowly. And with nearly a third of respondents feeling that their institutions are not leveraging the clear potential of tech, there is clearly more to be done.
Our attendees felt that the key blockers to making better use of tech were resource related; finding the right expertise and cost of implementation were of primary concern. With such high demand for digital assets in the modern market, coupled with an increasing expectation of excellent user experiences from customers, it is evident that addressing the demand for high quality tech products can be a difficult nut to crack.
Finally, it was clear from the session that many of us are enthusiastic about the possibilities that technology can offer. Not only in making administrative processes smoother and less error prone, but in supporting growth and innovation as the shift from DB to DC pensions is requiring that individuals take more responsibility for their own financial futures.
In summary, the pandemic has clearly accelerated everyone's thinking with regard to technology's impact on our collective futures. What seemed like a distant future only a few short years ago is now a new normal we are collectively having to navigate. However, what we've seen is that where a couple of years ago there were often challenges and nervousness around adopting new technologies, there is an ever increasing optimism that carefully considered application of technology will lead to better financial outcomes for individuals.
We as a firm continue to focus on our digital initiatives and we’ll share our thinking with you as our experience deepens - hopefully building towards better futures for us all.
Together, using technology to build better financial futures
This blog is part of our Better Futures 100 series: tech campaign. To find out more, watch our on-demand event here.