Dissecting a digitally healthy organisation doesn’t always reveal the secret to its successful digital transformation. While the deployment of game-changing technologies that enable data-driven decision making and enhance the customer experience may seem like the answer, there are other vital organs at work in the corporate body and it is these that enable such developments to take place.
Of paramount importance in the digital landscape of asset and wealth management is the digital leader who, rather than simply empowering others to adopt new approaches, takes data and technology into the boardroom and uses it to drive the company forward.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is where organisations adopt new technologies, such as AI, machine learning, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), to create more efficient processes and to increase the effectiveness of their strategies for the benefit of both the company and its customers. Data is the lifeblood of these modern infrastructures, providing previously unobtainable insights that open up new opportunities and sharpen decision making.
Today, digital transformation is not just happening across sectors. For those that undertake it, digital transformation permeates throughout the entire organisation. It can bring change to goals, strategies, structures, roles, policies, procedures and processes. And while some of these changes are necessary to implement digital transformation, many more are brought about by the knowledge and capabilities it offers.
In order to undergo true digital transformation, however, organisations need to embrace the digital culture. Only by doing this can it adapt to the ever-changing business environment and the expectations of its customers, while keeping pace with its competitors.
The role of a digital leader
A digital leader is not necessarily a technology expert. However, they must have an effective understanding of technological developments and how these cutting-edge solutions can be utilised to give the organisation a strategic advantage. Indeed, their role is to make the best use of data and technologies in order to critically evaluate strategy and identify innovations that deliver long-term improvements to organisational performance.
At the same time, digital leaders need to be keenly aware of the impact digital transformation has on those who work within the organisation, as its implementation will change roles and responsibilities as well as reshaping strategies. The management of such change needs to be well-considered, with employees encouraged to embrace change and given training and support where needed.
5 qualities of a digital leader
- The first is the ability to inspire individuals to unite behind the organisation’s vision for a digital future, a task best led by someone with a firm belief in that vision.
- Secondly, a digital leader needs to leverage technology, becoming a prime mover in its adoption while being acutely aware of how it will affect the organisational environment.
- Going hand in hand with this is the third quality - the ability to drive innovation. Open-minded and inherently curious, a digital leader encourages creativity in order to find cutting-edge digital solutions.
- Unleashing that creativity often comes from collaboration and the fourth quality of a digital leader is the ability to make this happen. This may mean breaking down siloed divisions and existing hierarchies so that more fluid teams can work together and share knowledge and ideas.It can also mean working with trusted partners, like Paragon Customer Communications, that bring specialist knowledge and solutions that utilise advanced technologies to increase efficiency, maximise effectiveness and respond quickly to customer needs.
- The last quality is the ability to manage risk. Digitally transforming asset and wealth management organisations isn’t without risk, but the biggest risk of all is not keeping pace with technological advancement and failing as a result.
How to be a digital leader in the asset and wealth management sector
In the digital age, the success of wealth and asset management organisations is increasingly reliant on their ability to react ever more swiftly to changes in customer demand and behaviour.
Having a clear and comprehensive view of data, for example through customer journey mapping, is essential. So, too, is having the right tools, skills and trusted partners to solve complex questions and to confidently forecast emerging scenarios. To lead the transformation that brings this about, a digital leader in asset and wealth management needs a holistic approach, not only cognisant of how technology can bring commercial advantage but also how its adoption will impact the dynamics of the organisation and those who work within it.