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HFM US Tech Summit Event Recap

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On January 26, we sponsored and attended the 2021 HFM US Technology Summit. The event brought together key technology leaders from the US hedge fund and financial services industries to comment on critical themes for the new year. Coretelligent’s Chief Technology Officer Chris Messer participated in a discussion about technology and data migrations.

Messer was joined by experts from investment management firms. They debated about how technology can be cost effective and improve business processes by using state-of-the-art products. Technology continues to advance, and now there are more resources and systems available many financial services organizations may not be aware of. The overall message behind their discussion was to “think big.”

This “think big” message was applied throughout their topics. One topic was about questions organizations should be asking their vendors during due diligence about investing in new technologies. The speakers all agreed that organizations should not be chained to old legacy processes, workflows, or systems and should instead look ahead at room for big improvements. Organizations should depend on their vendors to guide them forward as they navigate the complex and ever-evolving technology landscape.

“Our job is to act as an advocate and to help educate. Technology will change every five minutes with new developments we didn’t know about. Our job as consultants is to help inform and keep customers abreast of the rapidly increasing changes occurring out in the technology landscape,” said Messer.

Big how and why questions during the due diligence process can help lead organizations down the path to success. These may include:

  • How are our current systems meeting security and compliance requirements?
  • How are they meeting our performance requirements?
  • Why are our current systems’ capabilities and features benefitting our organization? How can updates and improvements provide more of a competitive advantage?
  • Why are we timid of investing in new technology?
  • Is our technology properly aligned with our business drivers?

Messer said taking these answers and wrapping them into a consistent, repeatable review and conversation around technology is the right approach regardless of the firm’s size.

Another way financial services organizations can “think big” about technology is simply by having frequent conversations about new technology trends and products. Vendors can only push so far if there is lacking internal support of new systems, but executive buy-in will increase if more users are open and accepting to change. Each organization may have different views and mindsets around technology, but Messer said, “Technology is an enabler; it helps grow and scale the business, it helps empower your employees to be dynamic, and it helps them do great work on behalf of the organization.”

Technology does not have to be scary or intimidating. The discussion highlighted the importance of having these big conversations to address any fears before embracing change. Organizations should feel accepting to new technology and develop a roadmap to transition efficiently and securely. When management buys in early and supports new technology, it sets a new culture and tone and prevents frustration from new users. The discussion suggested introducing new technology in a positive environment.

Technology concepts can sound overwhelming and complicated, but it is possible to break this fixed mindset and move forward with a growth mindset. Financial services organizations can learn new computing language, new technology, and aid users to adapt to changes. The larger vision, or what is on the other side, is worth discovering. The discussion concluded by saying that all areas within the front, back, and middle offices of a business should be educated on change and how it will benefit everyone as technology continues to advance in 2021 and beyond.

“There’s always going to be innovation. There’s always going to be competition. That’s the fantastic part of technology and the enablement it brings to the organization,” Messer said.

Coretelligent is honored to attend and sponsor events about technology and benefits for financial services organizations. We were also shortlisted for the award of Best Cybersecurity Provider by HFM. To learn how Coretelligent provides white-glove IT and cybersecurity solutions for financial services organizations, click here.

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