How a business responds to change can make the difference between growth and obsolescence. The wealth management sector, in particular, is on the cusp of major disruption due to changing investor behaviours and emerging digital business models. One of the best ways that wealth management firms can adapt to change and keep pace with market trends and regulatory obligations is by implementing Agile principles into their business.

How Firms Can Benefit from Agile Wealth Management Technology

The Agile concept was created by a group of software developers in 2001 and has since been applied to businesses in various sectors with great success. Its principles are rooted in continuous collaboration and iterative development to successfully respond to unpredictable and constantly changing needs. In fact, one of the principles of Agile is to welcome changing requirements and harness it for the client’s advantage. (READ: The 12 Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto)

Technology is Key to Agility

Technology should do the heavy lifting in an agile enterprise to create efficiencies in time-consuming and repetitive processes. The right technology can also enable the fast creation of new services, help adapt to new forms of digital opportunities and leverage new technological opportunities.

For example, a strong eco-system of APIs allows businesses to assemble new solutions without having to reinvent the wheel. This helps them adapt quickly to new situations by leveraging existing and proven sub-solutions.

What Does Agile Wealth Management Technology Look Like?

Agile wealth management technology should include a unified back-office platform. This is the core supply chain of all services. Extensive automation and clock-work precision with systematic, repetitive, identical processes for all products creates ultimate efficiency in the back-office.

Taking a modern-day grocery store as an example, it should not matter if a customer chooses to purchase in-store with an attended checkout or self-checkout or on-line with drive-by pickup or home delivery: The supply chain for all those products needs to operate like clock-work, and must work regardless of the product distribution channels.

The front-office, however, has a different temperament. In retail grocery shopping, the “store” may be brick-and-mortar or digital and may include loyalty program innovations. The pace of change is much higher. Hence, front-office technology requires the ability to develop “apps” with a plug-and-play capability to the back-office and other API-accessible solutions.

That plug-and-play ability is typically achieved with middleware while the choice of solutions is often taken from an ecosystem of APIs, akin to a set of predefined Lego blocks to assemble from.

For wealth management providers, WealthTech can be a source of both opportunity and risk. The key to seamlessly growing and adapting to the industry’s constant evolution is to prioritize agile methods and its required technological architecture.