A month ago I wrote about the pressures that were building in our industry.  I talked about the increasing reporting expectations of clients, the pressure to modernise and replace old legacy systems, pressures on costs, and of course the impact of Covid-19. All of these came together to form a perfect storm which appears to be accelerating the evolutionary process, perhaps compressing 10 or 15 years of evolution into a few short years.

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2020 has now passed but not without one more significant pressure point. End December reporting is typically one of the most demanding of the year, as end month, end quarter and year end reporting all fall on 31st December. Add to this the UCITS KIID refresh that starts that day, and January for many reporting teams can feel like Armageddon (do you see what I did there… the title of this blog is the theme tune from that movie!).

When I think back now, my thoughts – as you’ll probably realise if you read that post – were being driven by the change in year, by new beginnings and by my energy and enthusiasm for what lay ahead for us all in 2021.  Did I expect something major to happen immediately?  Well, no, but I did expect the pressure to continue, to increase even. Weeks have now passed, and my thoughts remain the same and the pressures continue to mount.

Perhaps I was being a little over-dramatic but as I write this we’re still in lock-down experiencing the on-going effects of the virus, the competitive landscape continues to challenge, along with client’s increasing expectations, and the pressures I wrote about are felt everywhere.

When I think of these things, and the impact they have on us, I visualise an asteroid cluster heading towards earth, with small problems hinting at the arrival of something major sometime soon – presumably the lookout on the Titanic spotted a few smaller icebergs in the North Atlantic before the fateful one appeared too…

Last week, the Bank of England talked about the financial energy that’s expected to be unleashed when restrictions are lifted.  There’s an estimated £250bn of cash that those whose income has not decreased are apparently ready to spend.  We’re being encouraged to “build back better”, the digital route is being pushed pretty strongly where it can, and that notion prompted me to once again consider the “Digital Transformation” that has been talked about for the last few years in our industry.

There can’t be many people left who are against such a transformation.  Using advances in technology to create efficiency and reduce costs, whilst delighting clients with superior service levels has to be the preferred model to deliver products and services. Transition towards this is on the minds of any business looking to survive and expand.

It means re-moulding or re-shaping your business so it can thrive in the next phase of its evolution.  2020 was a “warning” year and many firms have already acted and taken steps to adopt cloud-technologies, streamline processes and improve outcomes.  Now is a good time to take stock of the situation and plan for the future – which is hurtling towards us. Don’t delay – especially if you have an annual project budget and approval process that requires a few months of up-front research.

We’re coming out of the back of a difficult year for client reporting and everything else.  As that chapter starts to close, I’m excited to see what happens next… and I don’t want to miss a thing!

One of the simplest ways to guard yourself against cataclysmic change is to protect the quality of the relationship you have with your clients, created and maintained in part, by your reporting.  By producing world-class client communications in the most efficient and cost-effective way, you’ll not need to worry about that aspect of your business as you continue to evolve.  Contact us and we’ll show you how we can help.

Andrew Sherlock

Opus Nebula