The digital disruption of wealth management is here. A recent survey revealed that 96% of wealth managers view digital capabilities as essential for not only enhancing operational efficiencies but also fostering relationships with clients.

But despite the increased focus on the importance of digital technologies, actual implementation is proving to be a challenge across the industry. In fact, almost a quarter of the same survey respondents stated that their suite of digital applications needs to improve “significantly.”

With a major technology gap at play, wealth management firms are competing in a fierce battleground to remain relevant among today’s digital players. Robo-advisors are already leading the digital forefront with innovative technology that’s attracting an increasing number of investors, especially in the up-and-coming millennial generation.

FinTech isn’t the only rising competitor in this digital battleground. Companies with large customer bases, regardless of industry, are eyeing wealth management. Orange, a global telecommunications provider, is launching a mobile-only banking product in 2017. Citing mobile financial services as a “major opportunity for diversification,” Orange’s deputy CEO has been quick to make a cross-industry move to expand their business in this digital landscape.

With great disruption comes equally great opportunity, and smart wealth management firms are fighting back. Apps and online services focusing on goal planning, personal budgeting, and banking are becoming more prevalent in wealth management. And forward-looking firms are embracing an app strategy, enabling advisors to be more efficient in day-to-day activities.

How to Win

In order to come out on top in the digital battleground, firms need to get connected, fast. They need to embrace an app strategy and build on an integrated digital platform that provides the agility to adapt to new technology. Wealth management firms that lead this charge and get connected to their customers will be the ones that future-proof themselves from disruption.

To learn more about the digital strategies you need to remain competitive including mobile applications and digital content, download our new report: "The Future of Wealth Management is Digital."

About the Author

Rohit Mahna is General Manager of Financial Services at Salesforce, leading the company’s strategy in the Wealth Management, Banking and Insurance sectors. Responsible for the product, marketing and overall go to market strategy, Mahna and his team oversee industry products and customer engagements for the Financial Services industry. He has been at Salesforce for over five years and was instrumental in the vision and development of Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud, the company’s first industry-specific.

Mahna has over ten years of experience in the Financial Services space, previously leading global development of IBM’s Financial Services industry solutions for business analytics and overseeing the industry marketing team.