Paper in the corporate world has been on its way out for about 20 years, a trend inversely proportionate to acceptance of digital technologies at work and at home. We’ve been walking the digital walk in our personal lives since smartphones hit the market en masse in 2010 and 4G network speeds gave millions of people easy access to information—instantly.
As the 5G network rolls out, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data analytics will make digital assets more valuable than ever before. In 2021, we accept the digital world—we tell smart devices to play songs, turn up our heat, turn off the lights, and close the garage doors. Digitization gives us real-time control.
On top of digital advancements, we’re acutely aware of the environmental destruction caused by clear-cutting trees for paper, the inefficacy of paper recycling programs, the security and physical risks associated with paper files, and the benefits of turning a paper-based office into a digital one.
The unexpected new wealth management work model
In March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sent the corporate world away from its center and remote workforces popped up haphazardly overnight. But only a few businesses were able to hit the ground running. Most scrambled to fix the gaps in their sudden, unexpected new work model. The major gap was lack of access to information—paper documents locked in desk drawers and filing cabinets at an office with the lights off.
How companies maneuvered in the roil of location-based lockdowns wasn’t pretty.
Document digitization service companies worked double-time to convert “need now” paper documents into digital files—bandages to stop the bleeding. Work-from-home (WFH) employees attempted, uncomfortably, to use these newly-digitized documents to conduct day-forward business that kept the lights on at headquarters. It was an expensive tactical response for employers. But not as expensive as the potential security gap threat actors were anxious to exploit. Digitization kept work flowing in the short-term but gating that digital data as it found its way to the Cloud meant carving out more finances from tight budgets and flinging that money at cybersecurity companies like a trebuchet.
The digitization industry was suddenly busier than ever turning mailrooms, office floors, and filing cabinet archives digital. And Managed IT Service Providers were overwhelmed trying to protect newly digitized assets in the Cloud with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and biometric-based permissions that met security and compliance protocols.
It was messy.
Q2 through Q4 of 2020 upended standard operating procedures, workers stressed under the weight of a pandemic-forced situation, and the financial world would never be the same. Though these measures happened at knifepoint, the upheaval pushed the wealth management world in a direction it didn’t know it needed. Until it had it. And now it can’t live without it.
Document Digitization-as-a-Service (DaaS)
Document digitization lit up a sleepy finance sector, pulling open the curtains to analytical insights that unlock a cascading chain of trackable efficiencies.
Wealth managers were slow to adopt digital transformation. Perceived cost, complexity, and time commitment made it a subcategory to traditional, tangible levers. But the benefits of operating paperless have quickly stripped away doubt. A digitally-transformed business provides faster service, greater transparency, higher security, and improved collaboration while deepening end client relationships.
Online tools and mobile functionality give your clients a modern, agile connection to their wealth-based documents on the surface. Underneath, advisors take advantage of faster IIROC audit cycles with digital indexing. Legacy records become trackable assets that grow the value of your firm.
A turnkey solution for financial firms
The focus on document scanning created a turning point in 2020. Those who embraced digitization, however ugly that looked last year, will ride that wave to the beach. But those who bury their heads in pulp will be left behind. Your competition is adapting and navigating the exponential potential that comes from a digital model.
Mountains of paper documents have been replaced by less expensive, more efficient, digital files that minimize security risks and maximize productivity. You still have hills of paper to get through and, now that you’ve come up for air from the 2020 crisis, you have time to think about how best to tackle what’s left (the documents still coming in as paper and all those archives).
FutureVault’s partnership with Iron Mountain creates a top-tier turnkey solution. From digitally capturing information trapped on paper to applying index tags and AI-based Smart Filing* for fast retrieval to porting digital records to the Cloud to managing assets on a document platform that revolutionizes client experience, to securely retaining (or destroying) scanned documents, FutureVault modernizes how you manage client assets end-to-end.
Digitization-as-a-Service (DaaS) turns your legacy records into electronic files, tucking the last of your sheets in tight. This reduces the risk of data exposure, data loss, and compliance penalties while adding value to your practice. But that’s not where FutureVault’s services end.
Digitizing what’s important to you is the first step to controlling the chaos. Once those documents are digital, we load them into a secure platform that makes managing them safe and easy—for your staff and your clients. Then we add integrations to streamline workflows like DocuSign for e-signatures.
DaaS puts a focus on client experience because your clients expect “always-on” access and they want enhanced features. That engagement comes from digitization. That’s how you entice new clients and that’s how you retain them.