Over the past two years or so funds have invested heavily in their digital strategy with many of the ensuing programs coming to life.

Our observation is the days of introducing the next best technology are now behind us and many funds now have a holistic technology strategy in place, implementing the tools that drive and support the member journey.

As disruptive technologies, they can enable greater interoperability, intimacy with the customer and building a meaningful conversation with members

With this progress has come a realisation that many of the approaches and technologies will come with integration challenges. The need for data analytics and real time data presentation layers to customers are posing real challenges to contact centre platforms, CRM systems, and payment and record keeping systems. Gartner’s model of Pace Layering (systems that move at differing cadences) is looming large in the minds of technology leaders in major funds!

Together with changes in administrator operations, platform or services integration demands, is placing real strain on back end processes that have developed over time in response to technological, organisational and regulatory change. I call them the invisible activity. The danger here is that many of these invisible work- arounds in the operation will continue, become increasingly necessary, more complex, and become reinforced through the need to “get it done”. This has the real potential to bake in cost to the future organisation, without it being necessarily visible to operational management.

The customer -focussed organisation is one that will look at all aspects of customer experience and value. This means taking a forward view of operational efficiency, and making investment in value add activities to engage with customers in the most meaningful way.

Top Tips for Innovation and Digital Change:

  • Be open to understanding the total impact of Digital or major technology change, and the differing needs of the application portfolio
  • Implement a learning and improvement loop that sits beside this change – with your team a part of this.
  • Understand the longer term cost of these technology approaches in services integration and back office processing.
  • Baseline your understanding of efficiency levels and where possible look to benchmark this with your competitors – improvement only occurs from an agreed base.
  • Take guidance from your customers – they often know what they want before you do

The battle to win the customer is about a clear statement of value, and delivering on that promise.

Watch out over the coming months for our Annual Superannuation Industry Digital Engagement Study.

Our focus remains on the Member experience landscape, and types of technologies that the sector is using to achieve their customer centricity.


Brian Peters