A recent AIMA and KPMG poll of 144 fund managers accounting for US$840 billion of Assets Under Management (AUM), found that innovating the IT environment was one of the most pressing issues on their agenda for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.
Furthermore, 33% of all respondents of firms under US$1 billion AUM cited technology as one of the greatest challenges to the firm when working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, now more than ever, technology is high on the priority list of those within the Alternative Investment space. Throughout our client base, we have seen a growing number of clients expanding or accelerating their digital infrastructure capabilities. The obvious areas such as Video Conferencing and Instant Messaging but also in other areas such as moving traditional file systems into Microsoft 365 or other cloud-based file storage solutions such as Egnyte.
The AIMA/KPMG poll found that 86% of respondents based in EMEA were investing more in improving business digital infrastructure/IT capabilities, that percentage dropped slightly in North America (78%) and APAC (67%). Those numbers demonstrate the increased demand for digital transformation and a cloud-first approach that the industry has been moving towards over recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic just seems to have supercharged a move that was already well underway.
Another key concern for fund managers highlighted within the report is security. With over 70% of respondents commenting that they considered their teams to be at higher risk of cyber attack when working from home. Indeed 74% have seen an increase in targeted phishing attacks in this period. This just highlights the need for end-user training and regular phishing testing, no email security solution is going to provide 100% protection, therefore your team members are the last line of defence.
Only time will tell as to whether greater numbers of the workforce will work from home into 2021 and beyond, many factors will play into that decision over the coming months, both economic, political and public health factors. However, it does appear that certainly in the short to medium term, there won’t be a return to the office en masse. Therefore, it’s important that the security solutions in place within your business extend beyond the corporate network, protecting your employees wherever they decide to work.