I’ve been working in the trust and corporate services sector for 18 years and worked with hundreds of providers as they review the technology they have in place to support their business operations.

I’ll use this blog to set out the most common reasons you should review the technology you have in place – and the best cadence on which to do so. I’ll also look at why services providers can sometimes struggle to review their software systems regularly, and offer some advice as to how to overcome such challenges.

1. Automation: the need to increase operational efficiency

  • Staff are expensive and difficult to recruit, particularly in some jurisdictions
  • The market’s shift from time-based to fixed fees


2. Regulation: the need to increase operational control and reduce risks

  • The increasing rate of regulatory change and complexity is difficult and time-consuming to comply with
  • Legal and financial penalties for non-compliance are severe

3. Consolidation: the need to consolidate

In other words, reducing the number of systems in use...

  • Many organisations use multiple different systems to support their business operations, often with little integration between them. This leads to duplication, inconsistency, inefficiency and makes regulatory compliance harder
  • Maintaining and supporting the technology stack and integrations for multiple systems adds significant IT cost and complexity

4. Differentiation: the need to offer digital channels

For example to aid customer retention and growth, in terms of:

  • Wealth is transitioning to the next generation and, in my view, most people these days (including my parents in their seventies) expect easy and quick access to information, via their phone, tablet, or PC
  • Many service providers have implemented client portals and those that I have spoken to have said that it has made a significant contribution to customer retention and growth

5. Financial: The need to maintain or increase margins

To say nothing of increasing revenue and profits, and enterprise value:

Business leaders focus on key financial metrics of their business but are sometimes not aware of the impact that modern technology can help them achieve their actual financial goals

Perhaps I should be asking the question, why don’t service providers review their software systems regularly?

It’s often for one or more of the following reasons:

• They think it will cost too much
• They fear it will to be too complex or too difficult to change
• They think current systems are working adequately, though they may not be aware of the manual    processing and inefficiency that has built up in the business over time
• Not knowing where to start or how to go about reviewing/selecting new software
• Not knowing what is available in the market and how it could help

To stand still is to go backward, as Richard Branson once said. So if you haven’t reviewed what software is available in the trust and corporate services market for a few years, I also have a few top tips for getting started:

Speak to other Services providers

What software and systems do your peers use and what do they think of it?

Google it

Do some web research on what’s available in the market. (Other search engines available!)

Hold some auditions

Talk to software vendors and get them to give you their pitch. You’ll quickly understand their solutions and where they can deliver value to your business

Seek independent advice

There are many consultancy firms that offer software review services, some of which know this market well.  Call them to have a chat to see how they may be able to help.

Focus on value

Look at where software can add value to your business, this could be by increasing automation/efficiency to reduce costs, or it could be reducing compliance risks, or supporting growth without the need to recruit additional staff.  Focus on the business case for change and the benefit to the business of investing in technology.



About the Author

Douglas Cooper

Douglas is Business Development Director at TrustQuay