Your Digitized IBOR Needs to be Digit-AL-ized
The simple “A-L” makes ALL the difference. Tech solutions can increase efficiency and save time when building an enhanced Investment Book of Record (IBOR)
Consider calculating how much time you’ve saved in life through using keyboard shortcuts. I imagine it’s a respectable sum. The designers behind these glorious features maximized time saved by thoughtfully using letters that both associate with the task and are close to the control or command keys. Pairings that now seems fortuitous actually came from a thoughtful and intentional process.
Now let’s pretend we live in a world in which it is an arduous task to copy and paste a piece of text. It takes a while, doesn’t always work the way you think it will, and somehow always reminds you of tax season. Frustrated with the workflow, you decide you trust yourself more than the technology, and just start retyping the content yourself. Though you can type 100 wpm, you make a few typos the second time around. Inevitably, more errors will occur, so you have to spend even more time revising and editing, always thinking “there has to be a better way.”
Thanks to those inspired souls in the '70s and '80s, this is not our world. Our quickness with keyboard shortcuts ultimately frees up more time for other projects. Efficiency makes room for opportunity.
The Path to Digital Transformation
Digital transformation enables institutional investors to redefine workflows, reallocate employee time, and ultimately improve investment performance. At SEI Novus, we are no stranger to the impact cutting-edged technological solutions can have on firm performance. As an experienced investor, you are likely no stranger to the headache to which home-grown tech stacks can lead. This digital transformation builds upon two underlying components: digitization and digitalization, as the figure below depicts. This transformative process is growing in popularity, with many industries discussing how each element applies to their respective fields. Perhaps it would be helpful to breakdown each phase, and how one leads to the next.
Digitization is simply information recorded in a digital format. Many firms are not-so-happily camped at the digitization stop on this journey. These laggers enjoy exporting PDFs, recording numbers in Excel (or a similar platform), and appreciate that when a number needs to be looked up, you aren’t headed to a back room full of binders. This is great, but it’s also early 2000s behavior (friendly reminder, it’s 2022).
Digitalization occurs when something is done within the digital format using a digital technology—think cloud computing, API software, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, etc. This is technology designed to work with digitized formats, and this is where workflows actually see efficiency and scale.
Digital transformation is the natural end-result when digitization and digitalization are successfully implemented. Often including a restructuring of workflows, this phase fundamentally changes both how a business operates and how it delivers value to customers.
Applying this process to institutional investing, a concrete example of digitalization is Ledger, our latest product release. Ledger is designed to help asset owners maintain a reconciled Investment Book of Record; the tool helps shadow accounting workflows progress from “Digitization” to “Digitalization.”
Consider the path to digital transformation as it relates to shadow accounting:
- Digitization: Most of you (minus the few that still receive physical copies of your reports in the mail ) are already here. Your data is recorded digitally, and you can access it digitally.
- Digitalization: This is where we (new technology) come in and improve your workflows. Through automatically ingesting custodian data into The Novus Platform, we make it not only accessible, but capable of being edited, approved, flagged, etc.
- Digital Transformation: This is the fun part. The type of transformation will reflect your values as an organization. You might use your additional time to develop strategy, build relationships, research ESG investment opportunities, etc. . . . it’s your call.
Bridging accounting and analytics, Ledger represents our team’s ongoing dedication to support investors along the path to digital transformation.
In Tech Solutions We Trust
There was a time when paying bills required stamps, booking airline tickets involved a travel agent, and if you needed to drive somewhere in a new part of town, you printed out MapQuest or even talked to another human...we’ve come so far in our capacity to trust technology! Before we all migrate to the metaverse, let’s use 2022 to delegate our remaining manual workflows to tech, and demand accuracy in our IBORs. Let’s resolve to protect our precious time from being swallowed up in the redundancies of double-booking transactions just to ensure our basic data is accurate. Let's use systems that enable us to make investment decisions with confidence.