New technology frequently has so many fresh features it can be overwhelming. And that’s the last thing busy professionals need, right? So, rather than face the challenge of learning something new, we sometimes ignore new tech and hope it will disappear.
Nice try, but that doesn’t work. Failing to keep up with always-evolving software is one of the best ways to become obsolete.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. And the first step is to change how you look at technology.
We often view tech as a challenge, like a mountain that must be climbed. Instead, try looking at it as a tool that provides a particular function or meets a specific need, something with a purpose. But there’s another step as well.
All too often, we see technology as providing just one service. We don’t take the time to discover the many additional features that come with it. And when we skip learning about those added tools, we don’t get total value from the software in our stack.
Admittedly, getting new technology up and running can be demanding. There’s a reason for that, says Jen Ferguson, Director of Business Development at XLR8/Concenter Services. I talked with her recently on my Bridging the Gap podcast and asked her why it’s so difficult. Her answer provided some fascinating insight into the problem.
“I think some of the difficulty with implementing technology correctly is people aren’t implementing it wholly. They are implementing it for the thing they think it does primarily, but they are not necessarily thinking about all of the other things that it could be doing.”
The problem arises because we only see the one big thing new technology can do while missing all the various components that accompany it. And that makes it challenging for wealth managers to fully implement new software.
There are other obstacles to implementation as well. First, there can be a lack of urgency on a firm’s part. Baby Boomers aren’t always crazy about change and new tech in particular. But clinging to that outdated thinking is a sure-fire way to miss out on picking up new Millennial and Gen X clients who are increasingly inheriting wealth as part of the Great Transfer. These potential clients are tech savvy and expect their financial advisors to be the same. Failing to meet that expectation could cause you to miss a once-in-a-career opportunity.
Another factor is failing to keep up with the blinding speed of innovation. You’ve probably heard of “Moore’s Law,” which tells us that computer power doubles every two years. Just think about that for a minute. If you allow your firm’s IT to lag even for a few years, you could find yourself in the unenviable position of having to go through an entire decade’s technological catch-up.
Some wealth managers seem to think that if they only wait long enough, technology will eventually level off, and it will be “safe” to invest in new software. But by doing that, they risk being left in their competitor’s dust. In other words, waiting is a luxury you simply cannot afford.
Finally, cyber-security remains an ever-present and grave concern for all of us. It has to be. And will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. However, avoiding adopting new technology out of security fears is a lame excuse. It’s also living in a fool’s paradise. You aren’t any safer clinging to old, outdated software than you are by upgrading to new technology. The Cyber Bad Guys never take a break from searching for new ways to commit crimes. Rather than sticking with antiquated and outdated software, you’re better off investing in systems designed to provide enhanced security. Sticking with the software you acquired so long ago you can’t remember when you got it does not make you any safer. It only keeps you out of date.
So the choice is your choice. Embrace change, explore the totality of features that come with new software, and learn how to put them to work for you. Or keep doing what you’ve been doing with the technology you’ve been using.