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APAC financial groups set priority areas for digital transformation

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This is a sponsored article from Broadridge.

As they seek to stay ahead of the pack, financial services firms have been accelerating their digital transformation and preparing to adopt next generation technologies. According to the 2022 Broadridge Digital Transformation and Next-Gen Technology Survey, firms in the Asia Pacific region are in a good position to keep pace with global change. The study surveyed 750 C-suite executives and their direct reports globally on the buy side and sell side on their progress with digital transformation and adoption of next-gen technologies.

More than three-quarters (76%) of all Asia-Pacific respondents surveyed said that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a moderate-to-high impact on their operating model and next-gen technology strategy. Within the region, the trend was most profound in mainland China, where 94% of survey respondents said that the global health crisis had made such an impact. The country was followed by Australia (81% of respondents) and Japan (78%).

Separately, the Broadridge study indicated that the pandemic has also accelerated the pace of technology implementation, with 44% of respondents in Asia-Pacific saying this was the case. On a country-by-country basis, this trend was most prevalent in China, with nearly two-thirds (62% of respondents) reporting implementation had sped up.

Broadly speaking, the data provides strong evidence that there is a growing need across all financial services firms to deepen customer relationships by delivering digital communications through a seamless, personalised omni-channel experience. For example, almost all firms surveyed in Asia Pacific said they were at the mid or advanced stages of moving from paper to digital communications, and implementing omni-channel experiences across devices.

Companies in Asia Pacific also highlighted specific priority areas for digital transformation. 71% pinpointed digital transformation of customer interaction as a top priority, and 67% are prioritising sales and marketing.

However, the Broadridge study also found a rising demand to digitalise and automate workflows in both the front and back office in ways that can unlock speed, efficiency and agility. For example, more than two thirds (68%) of respondents said that they viewed digital transformation of their middle and back office operations as a priority today. This rose to nearly three-quarters (74%) when looking at a two-year time horizon. To support this, firms are turning to next-gen technologies to automate manual processes. For example, 68% of respondents said they were in the mid-advanced stages of deploying artificial intelligence and machine learning for intelligent automation.

One of the most significant takeaways from the Broadridge report is also that digital data and visual analytics tools are becoming essential when it comes to making mission critical decisions and driving strategic planning. More than half (56%) of respondents said they were at the mid-advanced stages of implementing data visualisation tools to drive decision-making across their business. A similar number said they were at the mid to advanced stages of using more advanced forms of data analysis such as predictive analytics.

On average, the study found that financial services groups in Asia-Pacific spend 11% of their total annual IT budget on digital transformation and next-generation technologies. They estimate that this will rise to 14% within two years, as the pace of digital transformation increases.

Globally, wealth managers are also learning to get to grips with the challenges and opportunities presented by digital technology, where the industry scores near the bottom versus other financial services industry sectors like banking and asset management in terms of digital maturity.

Among the most profound findings of the research was that while wealth managers had made progress in modernising IT platforms, digitising processes and moving to the cloud, many lagged in artificial intelligence and automation in data and analytics. The latter are key areas when it comes to attracting and managing clients, portfolio and risk management, and trading.

When it comes to digital maturity, just 13% of wealth managers were categorised as Leaders in Broadridge’s Digital Maturity Framework. 33% of wealth firms were categorised as beginners, indicating that wealth firms must put in place a clear vision and implementation strategy to keep up with the pace of change, as client expectations and business models evolve.

To read the full study, please see Broadridge’s 2022 Digital Transformation and Next-Gen Tech Survey.

This is a sponsored article from Broadridge.

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