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The Key to Survival in 2021? Unlocking Business Continuity & Operational Resilience.

In the new year, how should firms focus on bolstering continuity and operational resilience?
Jeremy Siegel
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In today's investment industry, managers must show their investors and regulators that they can manage investors' money effectively, prudently–and reliably, regardless of the climate. Business agility and operational resilience have become nearly synonymous with digital transformation, and firms are turning to new technologies to modernize and revolutionize how they operate. However, digital transformation alone does not unlock resilience.  

The current ambiguous historical moment we are operating in implies that firms must further develop how they approach contingencies and future challenges, especially when harnessing the opportunities presented by the accelerated digital transformation and innovation process already underway.

For many firms, the past year shifted their modus operandi; and to survive, they had to:

  • make paradigm shifts in their business operations,
  • contemplate the benefit of the cloud, and
  • adopt greater mobility and different digital technologies.

Firms now must move beyond survival while also meeting investor and regulators' priorities and demands. What areas should firms focus on to bolster both continuity and operational resilience and meet these changing demands? It requires a holistic framework for better decision-making and improved operations with a focus on the following.  

Attracting and Keeping Talent

The newly decentralized nature of working has created managers' opportunities to reach outside of their usual business centers, searching for new talent. According to KPMG International and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) research, fifty-seven percent of all managers have shown they have hired or are actively looking to hire fresh talent since the beginning of 2020. Managers must rethink how to source, reward, and keep talent.  

Smart Sourcing

The current remote working environment continues as the catalyst to increase outsourcing operational and technological solutions and services. This opportunity will improve efficiency, generate cost savings, and help firms manage margins more effectively.  

Innovating IT, Cloud, and Software Solutions

Firms must invest in their digital infrastructure, software platforms, and IT capabilities. The new year brings continued room for opportunity, and firms should focus on automating essential functions, investing in cybersecurity measures, lifting into the cloud, and focusing on enterprise data management to facilitate data analysis and reporting.

Investor Relations 2.0

Fund managers must optimize digital tools (such as video conferencing and data rooms) to improve their current IR model. The key to success is adopting robust compliance and risk tools to streamline processes and enable transparency for investors and regulators alike.

Becoming focused on efficiency

Firms must rise to the efficiency challenge by investing in both new and cloud technologies in 2021. In the race to increase productivity across the entire firm, embracing technologies that deliver access to the right data in the right way and business intelligence across the firm will provide the efficiencies firms require to navigate both current and future environments.

Hindsight is 20/20

2020 is in our rearview mirror, and in a world that swung to the extreme, disrupted the financial markets, strained and challenged operating models, it quickly rewarded — resiliency. Firms that focus on building continuity & operational resilience in 2021 will thrive.

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