How technology disrupts management structures


Everyone knows about how the strides in technological developments are transforming businesses, not only reducing costs but also improving capabilities, including funds management processes. But not everyone realises that the changes often mean a complete management rethink.

According to Lauren Ryder, the chief executive of the technology and management advisory company Leading Edge Global, introducing new technologies to a funds management firm or big super fund – in fact any organisation – will change the way people work on a day-to-day basis.

“You can often get leadership issues because technology changes the way that people work” she says. “We provide advice on both the technology and its implementation, and that includes the management structure which will invariably be affected by the changes too.”

Ryder is to deliver the closing presentation – ‘Catching the Next Wave: future proofing your technology platform’ – at the upcoming Investment Data & Technology Summit, produced by Fund Business, at Sydney’s Westin Hotel on August 14. It is the third annual conference and is expected to attract more than 100 delegates across superannuation and funds management.

In this presentation, she will outline ways in which asset management firms can address the challenges of implementing new technologies in a way that ensures they remain up to date at the time of implementation, as well as flexible enough to respond to future developments.

Apart from the hot general topics of artificial intelligence and machine learning, Ryder will discuss possible implications from the introduction of blockchain technology, which fund managers are going to experience fairly soon when the ASX becomes the first exchange in the world to introduce it to replace its CHESS system – to be phased in from the fourth quarter 2020.

She is also a believer in making sure that by introducing new technologies organisations should be looking for much more than to reduce costs. They should be aiming to improve the customer experience. A small example of what blockchain will do for the ASX’s customers is that it will increase the speed with which dividends can be paid, which, because of the aggregate size of all dividend payments, actually improves the efficiency of the whole monetary system.

Nevertheless, the average cost saving in recent years just from automating “boring and repetitive” tasks, she says, is about 30 per cent, which is a worthwhile exercise in itself. It should be remembered that the fact that there will be fewer, or no, mistakes is a big cost saving.

The firm’s clients in financial services have included Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Macquarie Bank.

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