The move to the cloud is finally taking place. In category after category of this year's Financial Planning Tech Survey, we found software providers making the shift, and advisors responding. In CRM software, cloud-based providers are gaining share at the expense of desktop-based products; in portfolio management, advisors are moving to a hosted solution where a cloud version is unavailable.

Advisors report that mobile devices like smartphones rank in the top three among technology shifts that have benefited their firms most. Even the growing use of online file-sharing services helps unlock the handcuffs chaining advisors to their desks.

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