Mar 20, 2023

The following blog post is one in a series of Cutter 2023 Trends that provide insights into industry challenges and considerations for our clients and member firms in 2023 and beyond.

With today’s economic uncertainty and unfavorable market conditions, asset managers need to increase their operational optimization. Ideally, managers can increase operational optimization by creating and deploying no-code/low-code tools that non-IT dedicated staff can use.

Employees from a variety of different departments, including finance, marketing, and operations, can use these tools. This can increase collaboration and communication across an organization and also lead to firms developing more innovative solutions.

One key advantage of using no-code/low-code tools: they allow asset management firms to quickly create and deploy new applications without having to wait for a dedicated developer to become available. Although no-code/low-code solutions do not fully replace a developer in the functional sense, they help developers focus on more difficult projects, cost significantly less than hiring a new developer, and allow end users, who are uniquely familiar with each project’s specific needs, to have more impact on the final product. We believe one key driver in the adoption of no-code/low-code solutions is a firm’s desire to automate simple repetitive processes by creating citizen developers within existing employee groups.

An example of a commonly used no-code tool in the asset management industry is Power BI, which we previously covered in Cutter’s 2021 Business Intelligence Tools report. Power BI, a data visualization software, allows users to create interactive dashboards and reports using a drag-and-drop interface. Asset managers can analyze data from a variety of sources, including spreadsheets, databases, and cloud applications. Power BI can track portfolio performance, identify trends and patterns, and gain insights into market conditions. The software also can create custom reports and dashboards for clients, enabling asset managers to communicate complex data in a clear and visually appealing way and make more informed decisions.

No-code/low-code tools do, however, come with drawbacks; the biggest weakness can be their lack of customizations. If a required feature is not provided by default, asset managers may find that their options are limited. A user could get source-code permission, but this may prove costly and requires advanced coding, which negates the benefit of no-code/low-code approach in the first place. Working with a full no-code vendor typically grants users limited or zero ownership of source code, which makes it difficult, or even impossible, for in-house developers to add custom features. Despite these limitations, we see optimization of simple tasks and data visualization as significant enough benefits for asset managers to continue to implement no-code/low code tools. Because of these advantages, we anticipate that firms will increase their rate of adoption of no-code/low-code solutions in 2023 and beyond, especially as vendors implement new features and capabilities.

To speak with a Cutter analyst or consultant about this trend, contact us at [email protected]. To read more 2023 Trends, see our whitepaper, Trends in Asset Management: 2023 and Beyond.