Super funds lagging behind on digital transformation

The pace of digital transformation in the superannuation industry is lagging other industries, according to a panel.

Speaking at an international business review webinar, Shaun McKenna, senior director of product, sales and client relations at SS&C Technologies, said most super funds were only focusing on digital member experience and neglecting other aspects of successful digital transformation.

“So how do you get your members engaged? Well, let's create a great kind of digital experience via portals, mobile apps, website, data, which are all very important, but I guess all you’re doing is digitising and not necessarily doing a full digital transformation there,” said McKenna.

McKenna said successful digital transformation involved creating a digital operation that was solely enabled by technology – rather than one with technology tacked on.

“We’ve probably got to take it a step further within super and look at the underpinning record keeping systems that are typically the things that are hindering the ability for funds to digitise to the levels that they would like,” said McKenna.

Super funds should start to adopt core record-keeping systems and integrate cloud technology throughout all facets of operations rather than just use it for website hosting, said McKenna.

Microsoft’s chief of cybersecurity for the APAC region, Abbas Kudrati, distinguished digital transformation from digitalisation through the example of Google photos – whereby artificial technology transformed the digitalisation process of photo cataloguing to enhance the customer experience.

Rest Super’s general manager of technology, Simon Smith, said digital transformation was not generally understood across the industry and that super funds needed to reengineer their processes rather than digitalise old ones.

Smith said parts of Rest Super and the vendors it used, still operated on analogue platforms.

“And so we may have a digital form that someone goes and puts their details in but it gets printed out at the other end [and then optically recognised by a scanner] and that’s not digital transformation,” said Smith.

He said Rest was in the process of aligning its entire business to Amazon Web Services, rather than just using it for web hosting.




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