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24 January 2023

Understanding Business Continuity in the Post-Pandemic Office

Working remotely for nearly three years has significantly impacted many investment managers office cultures, as well as its approach to managed services. To understand how changes to teams, office layouts, and working schedules can be an untold benefit to companies, SS&C Advent recently participated in a roundtable debate on the topic of “Lessons Learned: Understanding Business Continuity Post-Pandemic.”

The panel was comprised of technology, operations, and investment practitioners to address the differences in our current office environment, as well as how these changes have forced firms to focus on streamlining operations and instituting business continuity plans. 

What does the post-pandemic office environment look like today?

Relative to the end of 2019, most panelist agreed that working remotely for two-plus years has drastically changed how teams communicate and collaborate. This has put significant pressure on a firm’s technology and infrastructure. As one panelist commented, people adapt to the circumstances at hand and with remote work lasting as long as it has, employees have created a different style and approach to both work and life.

The 2023 office environment is unrecognizable from four years ago. Today’s hybrid culture promotes a flexible, work-life balance unknown to many office workers previously. As firms adapt, there is a clear need to provide teams with hardware and digital applications that promote a seamless transition from the office to their remote workstation. However, many panelists noted that it is important for teams to gather in person – not for the task-oriented aspects of the job, but to share and learn from each other’s experiences.

What does this new office environment mean for technology and outsourcing?

The fundamental case for outsourcing remains compelling: by delegating the management of technology and routine operational tasks to experts, investment managers can focus on their core competences. As organizations acclimate to this paradigm shift in work, new drivers for outsourcing have emerged.

Compared to several years ago, all the panelist agreed that the hybrid office is a significant driver for firms to start leveraging managed services and moving to the cloud. Moreover, a lot more firms are exploring managed services capabilities that focus directly with managing daily operational tasks. This is not a replacement for a firm’s operations staff, but a collaborative, two-way relationship with a third-party vendor.

As firms deal with key-person risk, turnover, and the overall talent strain, they are looking to offload portions of their operations - reconciliation, data management, or loan processing - to providers that are experts in these areas. This empowers firms to focus on what they do best: generating alpha. Firms should concentrate on their core business activities and less on managing IT and people.

The post-pandemic office: Two years remote and counting

The roundtable touched on a wide range of issues confronting organizations today, including the strain on keeping and attracting talent, key factors to consider when evaluating technology providers, as well as how to effectively manage the next generation of employees in a hybrid environment. For diverse perspectives on how to adapt to the post-pandemic office, download the full report package. Also included in the roundtable report is our white paper, What's Next for Investment Operations? Five drivers accelerating the trend toward managed services.