Back (office) to the future


Back (office) to the future

The four digital trends altering the status quo for custodians

In the 1985 film Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox is whisked into a Hollywood vision of 2015, featuring technological marvels like hover boards and flying cars. The marvels of the real 2015 are smartphones, connectivity and technological disruption—advances that have not just disrupted business processes but even converted brands into common verbs.

“Let’s Google it” or “I’m Ubering over” show just how deeply technology is now embedded in everyday life. For custodians, four distinct types of digital transformation are converging in 2015 to cause significant changes to business practice as we know it.

Executive Summary

Changing client conversations

If you are of the generation before mobile phones, you probably have trouble remembering how two people ever managed to meet in a public place without the ability to call their counterpart to say, “I’m here—where are you—I see you.” The way that we communicate with our clients has evolved in much the same way. The jump from fax and Excel-based back office processing to email and web-based portals significantly increased the speed of our operations. In addition to face-to-face and phone interactions with clients, we have multiplied the types of communications we send by providing thought leadership online and easy access to the latest market insight and research, as well as by disseminating that information through regular web-based newsletters.

Now, the key conduit for communication with our clients is the digital world. Our publications, whitepapers and industry commentaries are broadcast via LinkedIn and Twitter. Our website offers a number of resources for our clients to access at any time and also links to our client-based interactive portal.

In addition, by streamlining data output to clients, a new kind of expertise has naturally developed on both the side of the custodian and that of the client: data interpretation and optimal visual packaging. Added emphasis on data visualization has not only changed the kind of daily conversations our operations teams are having with clients, but we have noticed a striking increase in demand for expertise to convert this data to present it in visually compelling ways.

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Performance magazine issue 19, January 2016

Performance is a triannual digest, dedicated to investment management professionals, which brings you the latest articles, news and market developments from Deloitte’s professionals and clients.

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