Last month, Joel Bruckenstein and I completed and published the T3/Inside Information Software survey, which addressed the three issues that most advisory firms want to know:

  1. Which vendors are operating in the advisory market and what programs and services are they offering?
  1. What’s the respective market share of the different software and service providers in each category (which programs are most popular)?
  1. How satisfied are users with these software and service providers, on a scale of 1-10?

In some categories, we also looked at market share broken down by size of firm, years of experience and business model for some of the more popular software categories, like CRM and investment performance reporting.

In all, the survey attracted 5,508 participants in the advisor space, who reported their use of software and service in 20 different categories. The report includes 90 charts/graphs/rankings, and more than 500 different tools and resources were listed.

You can read the full report here. In this article, I’ll share some of the key insights and trends that the survey respondents told us, and what surprised us and stood out as significant to a potential user of professional software.

Let’s start with adoption rates. In each category, we listed the percentage of total respondents who reported using at least one program or service in that category. So, for example, 85.82% of the respondents report that they (or their firm) use at least one of the CRM programs we listed. Not surprisingly, this was the highest adoption percentage in the entire survey. But our first reaction on seeing that number pop out of the final analysis was: What are the other 14.18% of the respondents thinking? Of course, we know; they believe that Outlook, ACT! or a spreadsheet are professional CRM programs. Those advisors are leaving a lot of productivity on the table.