As advisors face market volatility and tough decisions around allocating resources and investing in technology, cloud computing is one area that can’t be ignored. As M&A within the global wealth management sector is expected to grow, 72% of participants in a global Citigroup survey agreed that wealth providers will increasingly look to partner with fintech providers, broker dealers and custodians to upgrade their technology infrastructure and free up internal resources to focus on delivering a personalized client experience.

Meeting Client And Business Expectations
When deciding whether data should live on-prem or in the cloud, advisors should consider the impact on their value prop. In a digital-first world, clients expect access to their finances when and where they want, and those types of technological advancements are primarily enabled through cloud computing.  

Client information can be seamlessly integrated through the cloud, where a client’s data footprint can be available in near real time, enabling advisors and clients to see across their financial life to make more meaningful and timely decisions. From digital collaboration to portfolio performance monitoring, the cloud can provide the on-demand access, analysis and scale that empowers an advisor to improve the quality of their client touchpoints, which can lead to increased client satisfaction, retention and growth in today’s competitive environment.

But as many experience pressure on topline growth, the bottom line can take center stage. Cloud computing can provide firms with significant benefits and opportunities to drive additional return on investment from their technology strategies. In fact, cloud-powered companies report an average of 92% cost savings compared to 43% by companies that don’t utilize the cloud. Cloud investment is critical to finding ROI for businesses, and it should be on the 2024 priority list.

Incorporating Cloud Into An M&A Strategy
As firms continue to consider M&A as a component of their growth strategies, the integration of systems and data, as well as migrating assets with little to no disruption, are on the transformation checklist. A unified technology infrastructure is critical to successful consolidation and operational efficiency—for the business and client experience. And the cloud can deliver the strategic support throughout the integration process, implementation and beyond.

Acquiring a company with cloud-native applications and cloud as its deployment infrastructure enables faster post-merger integration, reduced technology risk for M&A and built-in capabilities to co-exist within a larger ecosystem. The cloud can enable the faster realization of M&A synergies. To boot, access to the acquired firm’s talent pool of cloud engineers can help drive the innovation that propels future growth.

Completing The Digital Transformation Journey
It can feel like a tall order to realize the cloud’s full potential while maintaining regulatory compliance and helping employees and clients through change. It’s important for advisors to consider a co-pilot on their digital transformation journey.

Cloud migration elevates an organization’s cyber risk to a different threat profile. The right provider will create a safe, effective cloud transformation strategy that incorporates the data privacy, information security, ongoing monitoring and optimization, and compliance that support a seamless implementation and on-demand scale today and in the future.

Transformation is as much about the people and the process as it is about the systems when it comes to integrating two organizations with established cultures. What works for another organization may not work for yours. It’s important to work with a strategic partner who takes the time to understand the culture inside and outside of your four walls. Culture is intended to build bridges—not silos, and an integrated culture generates increased productivity and efficiency.

Cloud adoption demonstrates a firm’s disciplined approach to aligning their business and technology strategies—particularly when it comes to M&A. Cloud investment provides a range of operational benefits that can ultimately deliver a more personalized wealth management experience for advisors and their clients. It helps propel the digital transformation journey, connect investors to what matters most and power the future of wealth. 

Sanjay Sharma is global head of SEI’s private banking and wealth management business.