Removing the Elephant From the Room

Brian Duddy

14 Sep 2021

Often when I meet with prospective clients, there’s an elephant in the room with us. It is big, lurking and people aren’t typically eager to own it.  But it's there, and it is my job to help firms kick it to the curb! 

The elephant in this case is technology adoption and specifically a resistance to embracing new innovations such as cloud and automation solutions for reporting and sales enablement practices.   

While in theory people understand that technology advances can bring substantial benefits to their firm, they also have had years of experience in figuring out how to build, review and distribute their client reports, factsheets and pitchbooks without it.   I see this firsthand with asset management firms struggling with whether to stick with manual, time-consuming tasks despite the availability of proven solutions that drastically accelerate productivity and eliminate costly data reporting errors. I’ve been part of these discussions and while I make my case and shared a long list of satisfied customers, hesitancy is real. In short, the elephant can be hard to move. 


An elephant roadblock 

Change, and technology change in particular can be intimidating. But then there are statistics like this one from Flexera which speak volumes—94% of enterprises use the cloud. These businesses have taken the leap. They have successfully moved to the cloud, become more efficient, more profitable, more secure and more future ready.  They are also watching the other 6%, the technology averse, fall farther and farther behind. For asset management firms this digital divide is real and growing rapidly. The fear of adopting technology and a new way of working on sales and client materials is becoming a major roadblock for firms. And soon they could be left behind. 


It’s true that most asset management firms were built on the back of manual processes but the assets they oversee and the customers they serve are evolving. New expectations, most often from experiences in our personal lives where digitization is prevalent, abound. Providing exceptional client service requires a new way of thinking. 


See-ya later elephant 

So what’s the answer to the elephant in the room? First, it’s important to voice the concerns and understand what’s driving them. Second, understanding how automation and cloud technology work and more importantly how they can be applied to client reporting and sales materials is important. Finally, taking the leap to a new approach can be done in stages. Testing the old way with manual entry while creating a new automated report is a great way to showcase that the accuracy, reliability and productivity technology can deliver. 


It’s time to remove the elephant from the room and free up your team to focus on what they do best, serving clients with value-added insights. Want to talk about your elephant? You can reach me at:Brian.duddy@assette.com