Why You Must Treat Information Like an Asset in 2018

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 Throughout our lives we accumulate a wide-variety of important personal, financial and legal documents, accounts and information. From birth certificates and passports, to health records, tax returns, financial statements, insurance policies and wills, the amount of information you need to protect and keep track of increases substantially overtime.

The challenge is that managing the volume and complexity of this information is often a haphazard, time-consuming, and cumbersome process. For most people, documents are scattered everywhere. Some may have been placed in a drawer, filed at the office, saved on a hard drive, or left in the hands of a family member or advisor. Not to mention the increasing popularity of email, text messaging and various private digital communications to store individual files. Whether hardcopies, on hard drives, or online, the risk of unmanaged information is not limited to disorganization and inaccessibility, but also whether it’s secure.

Loss, theft and damage become far more consequential as we accumulate years of personal and business information, as do the time and money spent locating and replacing documents.

There are numerous statistics that reinforce the absence of information security and organization in our daily lives, here are just a few:

  • 50,000 safety deposit boxes were impacted by a flood, fire, burglary, robbery or tornado in the U.S., from 2013-2016.
  • In 2017, hackers collected login credentials for more than 1 million Gmail accounts with a phishing campaign.
  • 12,000 laptops are lost or stolen every week in U.S. airports alone.
  • The average professional wastes 6 weeks annually searching for important documents lost among the clutter.
  • The average lost file costs $120.

With the breadth of personal and business information that is critical to our daily lives, we need to shift our perception on the significance of proper information management – ranging from ownership and security to storage and organization.

Information is the ultimate asset class and requires the same level of focus, expertise and fiduciary considerations, as do one’s financial assets. What has been missing in the marketplace are the tools and intelligence to deal with the volume, complexity, and risk associated with managing personal and business information. Individuals demand security and require guidance. As a result, a new category of secure, intelligent, and collaborative information management solutions will play a disruptive role over the next 5-10 years, across various sectors including financial services, wealth management, legal services, accounting, and even family offices.

While many companies offer document management products, what’s missing is an all-encompassing solution that bridges the gap between advisor organizations managing critical client documents and clients maintaining full control over how their information is stored, organized, accessed, and shared. This new category of information management will ensure clients remain in the driver’s seat, helping them increase efficiency, reduce costs and achieve peace of mind while leaving the bulk of the heavy lifting to advisor organizations.

While security, transparency, and efficiency are a clear return on investment for clients, these technologies also present unique opportunities for organizations. When it comes to client acquisition and retention, competition is high. To succeed, they need to add new products and services to their portfolio that exceed expectations and provide an exceptional client experience. Secure, intelligent, and auditable information management solutions bring new levels of service and trust between organizations and their clients, helping deepen client relationships, maximize business potential and provide robust management of disclosure, compliance, and audit obligations.

We’re entering the new era of Information Management, one that empowers individuals and businesses to optimize the value of their information with superior security, intelligence, structure, and collaboration.

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