“What advisors want most is technology that is easy to use,” Joel Bruckenstein told an audience of advisors during the Technology Tools for Today Conference on Monday.
Raef Lee, the managing director of platform develop at SEI, said integration remains a critically important technology trend. “From a vendor perspective, integration is very important, but advisors don’t really care about how things integrate,” Lee said. “They just want to know how they can use it.”
Advisors want a simple platform, Lee said during an interview. “Advisors want one solution that handles everything,” he said.
Lee said cloud-based solution have become par for the course, but the best vendors have found a way to integrate the cloud with legacy software.
Advisors have been quick to embrace mobile solutions. According to Financial Planning’s annual tech survey, 50% of advisors are using tablets and 80% of those advisors are using iPads.
Lee said the tablet is a format that is “very conducive” for advisors.
“Advisors are always meeting clients on the go and a tablet is perfect for that,” he said. “The 50% that aren’t using mobile are probably the advisors that are doing all of their business in their office. … Everyone will be mobile at some point. The vast majority are there and more are coming.”
The next generation of mobile innovators are beginning to emerg, Lee said. Lee said he is really intrigued by Finance Logic, which has developed an app for advisors to give to clients and prospects to mine them for basic data.
Bruckenstein says advisors need to be thinking about Windows 8. Currently, 62% of advisors that are using PCs are using Windows 7 and 37% are still using XP. Bruckenstein says any advisors are still using XP must phase it out within the next three to six months months.
Lee said it all comes back to workflow.
“Technology is a fire hose and it is changing quickly,” he said. “We have to remember, advisors are wealth managers. They are meant to advise people on their wealth, not to keep up on technology. … Vendors are producing tremendous innovations, but it has to be easy for advisors to access in order to succeed.”