Industrial Revolution 4.0 in the Family Office – The Digital Age and Future of Technology

Date: Oct 21 2020

Author: 
Bill Sullivan, President, Family Office Exchange

Responding Swiftly to the Pandemic Challenge

Leading up to 2020, family office technology providers made significant improvements with expanded offerings and new entrants. Nonetheless, adoption remained relatively low, as technology simply wasn’t at the top of most family office priority lists. But history has shown nothing is a more effective change accelerator than a crisis. The success so many offices and family members experienced after quickly adopting technology during the pandemic’s early stages has opened eyes to how effectively these solutions support families, and how easily they can be implemented, even under duress.

Since March 2020, Covid-19 drove increased technology integration and exponentially increased value to the family and family office. In a short period of time, offices that rarely managed a single virtual employee were forced to work 100 percent from home. Family members of all ages embraced tech, and Zoom® became a verb. Early technology adopters – especially those who invested in collaboration, integration, and security tools – had a relatively seamless transition. While some offices were not yet working extensively in the cloud, they managed to quickly make the transition to a virtual environment.

While the Fourth Industrial Revolution was already underway, the 2020 pandemic may be the key spark igniting the next phase of family office technological development. As advancements accelerate, we gain greater access to the automation, accessibility, integration, and transparency family members increasingly demand. A widespread rise in family office appeal has made qualified talent increasingly difficult to find, attract, and retain. Combine these with new expectations and demands from younger generations, and family offices are set to experience dramatic change in the years ahead.

The Essential Catalyst to Empower the Family Office

The velocity, breadth, and impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is unprecedented. And it’s forcing family offices to rethink how they can support family members and their goals as they change through the next decade.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution “represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technology advances commensurate with those of the first, second, and third industrial revolutions. These advances are merging the physical, digital, and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril. The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution is forcing us to rethink how countries develop, how organizations create value, and even what it means to be human.”1

Five key components of the revolution will help family offices deliver greater value in the future.

5 Key Ways Tech is Changing Family Offices

Making investments in technology today is critical for your family’s future. They will ensure the office is prepared to meet changing needs, particularly during times of crisis. Technology empowers your staff to deliver increased value by leveraging the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s promise.

Our team at FOX stands ready to help you and your family understand and embrace the what the Fourth Industrial Revolution can bring you. We’re well-versed in leading-edge technology platforms and can work with you and your family to evolve your technology platform. As an exclusive FOX member benefit, we can answer questions, provide advice, make provider introductions, and facilitate the process each step of the way. We look forward to working with you.

“Family Office Exchange Members can also download my latest White Paper here - Technology: Springboard to the Family Office of the Future

1https://www.weforum.org/focus/fourth-industrial-revolution, Accessed September 14, 2020


Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan is the president of Family Office Exchange (FOX). He is a thought leader who understands the role that disruption and innovation will play in transforming our industry. He leads FOX in helping members to understand and plan for future transitions in the family enterprise, the family business, and the family office.

Areas of Expertise: Enterprise Families, Disruption, and Innovation


Read More →