The Techwork 2022
Private equity’s continued technological upgrade has been continuing at a rapid pace over the past 12 months. Our annual Techwork report charts the industry’s digital progress by focusing on a select group of individuals responsible for this crucial work.
Last year, our Techwork report found private equity tech professionals were largely focused on several key areas, namely upgrading operating models, and with that, sharpening individual functions including deal sourcing, due diligence processes, value creation, reporting and compliance. This year’s report found this vital work continued throughout the past year, with several of our Techworkers keen to find ways to automate many of these tasks.
Profiling tech professionals in the space this year makes it clear that using tech to improve these functions is being driven by firms’ desire to scale. With one of our Techworkers saying: “My goal is to see how we can use technology to solve roadblocks to growth, which manual processes can create, and rapidly scale up our structures and processes.”
A major difference in this year’s report is how engaged the Techworkers are when it comes to driving behavioural change. Indeed, new systems bring about new processes, which requires new ways of working. Our Techworkers are doing this in several ways, one of which is improving the digital literacy of the wider team. As one Techworker put it, “Providing the tools isn’t enough in and of itself. The team must also know how to get the maximum value from them.”
Unsurprisingly, trying to change the way in which the whole organisation works is no easy task. One Techworker admits, “It has been an internal struggle in encouraging teams to move away from spreadsheets, but we are getting there.”
Effecting behavioural change of course requires buy-in from senior management. One of this year’s Techworkers explains how they sought backing from the CEO in order to then convince the wider business that new systems and processes are the right way to operate the firm’s portfolio monitoring process.
Furthermore, behavioural change isn’t siloed, as one Techworker observes, new systems present an evolution for all employees, “Because it completely changed the way we work - not just from an IT perspective, but the way the offices interact with each other, and how much more frequently they do.”
In driving behavioural change, this year’s Techwork report makes it clear that tech professionals in private capital funds are increasingly more visible across their organisations. For one Techworker, this has meant keeping all IT activities in-house (rather than using third-party providers), and ensuring in-person visits are conducted regularly with all offices and all areas of the business.
Increased visibility also requires a two-way dialogue. Says another Techworker: “We encourage a feedback culture, so people can tell us what is working, what isn’t and what helps with their day jobs. That’s the best way to ensure our technology is constantly fit for purpose.” Finally, and of little surprise, this year’s report found many Techworkers charged with solving private equity’s biggest challenge of the last year - ESG. For tech professionals, the name of the game is getting into the weeds of data collection.
What this year’s report makes clear is that private equity tech professionals are pivotal to the overall success of numerous industry aims, including efforts to scale while becoming more sustainable and responsible businesses.
To find out more about our 2022 Techworkers, check out the links below:
To take a look back at our 2021 Techwork and profiles, click here.