Administration, Platforms

Lockdown has propelled technology change

lockdown technology SMSF Class

The COVID-19 lockdown and rush to work from home has pushed forward the use of technology in the SMSF sector by up to 10 years, according to Class.

The COVID-19 lockdown has accelerated the uptake of technology in the SMSF sector by a decade and would likely push forward further development by technology providers, according to the head of SMSF administration service provider, Class.

Speaking with selfmanagedsuper, Class chief executive Andrew Russell said: “The COVID-19 crisis has propelled us forward by 10 years and changed the way of thinking in a number of areas.

“The mindset of people has changed and there is much less resistance to working from home and at the same time our clients are still being serviced quickly and advisers have been able to then go and provide services to their clients.

“This has been a wake-up call and face-to-face advice will remain, but technology concerns that had to be addressed have been pulled forward into the present.”

Russell said an example of this shift was the development of electronic signatures, which have been possible for some time but only allowable under New South Wales law, which he described as a ‘pain point’ in the SMSF sector that was now more likely to change.

He said technology developers were now re-examining their roadmaps for projects and prioritising their efforts to bring forward improvements, adding Class was undertaking that process and would bring out a series of new trust products, related to family trusts, sooner than first planned.

Financial services and advice businesses were also more likely to make changes, he said, with firms having seen their business continuity plans tested and security issues around phone and internet connectivity assessed under real-world conditions.

He said these issues also applied to Class as it continued to integrate NowInfinity during lockdown following the purchase of that business earlier this year.

“We had to pivot quickly as we have an office in the Gold Coast and a development team in Ukraine and no one could travel between offices. Instead we relied on technology to mesh those teams with ours and it has become a text book on how to integrate teams in a virtual environment,” he noted.

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