Matt Heine

Improved satisfaction for staff is linked to better technology adoption according to research from Netwealth.

The platform’s 2022 AdviceTech Report, done in conjunction with CoreData, indicated that most advice firms use an average of 14 technologies in their practice, with most staff using it at least daily.

Around 78 per cent of those surveyed agreed that an integrated tech stack – the seamless combination of related tech systems – improves staff satisfaction.

Additionally, the research found “superior” technology is required for hybrid home-office environments, while training processes that include ample time to learn the software should part of any tech implementation strategy.

The aim of the study was to identify the impact technology has on staff, noting how entwined email, Microsoft Teams, investment platforms, payroll systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems are on operations.

Netwealth managing director Matt Heine said technology isn’t considered enough when it comes its impact on staff satisfaction.

“When we think about improving staff satisfaction, our focus often turns to increasing pay, improving staff culture, giving more leave or providing other employee benefits,” he said in a media release regarding the findings of the study.

Marketplace of ideas

While some technology (like Microsoft Office) is industry agnostic, advisers rely on job-specific platforms and CRM systems which often have their own pros and cons.

Recent research from Investment Trends found advice firms use an average of three platforms and industry feedback indicated there isn’t enough standardisation to support using multiple systems.

Additionally, many tech players in the advice space have looked to M&A to build scale in an industry with tight margins, including Netwealth.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only heightened client expectations for technology due to other professions like doctors and accountants being flexible with their communication media.

Tech strategies

With the market in its current state, Heine said the research identified several tactics firms can adopt to improve their tech usage.

He noted firms should consider simplifying their core advice tech, use integration tools or even reducing the number of tools they use.

“The first of these is for advice firms to consider supporting their hybrid working arrangements with the right technology, such as VPNs, as well as proper IT support.”

The research found only 36 per cent of staff consider themselves “masters” of the tech they use while only 56 per cent feel they receive appropriate training.

“The other obvious tactic is to give staff more training on technology, access to how-to videos as well as giving them just more time in their day to play around and learn about the tools,” Heine said.

The report surveyed 303 advice firms between 13 April to 19 May 2022.

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