Improved agility is the key to success for financial services in 2021

Improved business agility is the key to success

When asked what holds an organisation back from making business changes, it is having the right information to hand that comes back as the answer. Whether introducing new products or services, processes or systems, in-depth research and evaluation is crucial for a successful implementation.

For a financial services company there is the added complication of working in an increasingly complex, regulated industry, where any new system or process must be considered carefully to ensure compliance.

From how data is managed and accessed, to logging and recording customer interactions for audits, there is a minefield of security and regulatory issues to be navigated. Not to mention the new guidance and rules for operational resilience to be considered, recently published by Bank of England, PRA and FCA and due to be mandatory by March 2022.[i]

Data silos mean lack of joined up thinking

Often still using legacy systems with silos of data, organisations are challenged to respond to customer demands, to proactively introduce new products or services or personalise communications.

It’s true that many financial services companies are now using digital channels, including social media, for customer service and investor relations, in addition to traditional communication methods. A few are even using emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots, which is transforming the customer experience to a degree.

However, there is little point of round-the-clock access if the channels are siloed and information isn’t shared, requiring a customer to explain an issue to multiple contacts on different media.

Or if the sales and marketing teams, investigating customer behaviour and client insights to identify new opportunities, rely on disparate system reports with a sprinkling of guesswork. Not ideal when the goals for every company are to increase revenues and improve the customer experience, important whether communicating with retail customers or managing high value relationships with business clients.

Insights lead to action

Building long term relationships with individual customers for retail bankers is as important as high net worth investment business clients for the asset management sector. The reality is that financial services organisations that take the time to understand who their customers and clients are and the types of interactions they want, can differentiate themselves from the pack and reap the economic benefit of providing a seamless omni-channel experience.

Business data holds the key – it is a tangible asset that when used effectively can unlock huge potential and value. It can provide insights to predict what customers and clients might choose next and help to shape the new products and services to give competitive edge.

The first steps on the journey to digital transformation

Of course, many business leaders already recognise the opportunities that good data presents – and the barriers to success. But they are unsure where to start on their data transformation journey. The path from ‘data disorder’ to one where a business can interrogate and report on accurate data cannot happen overnight.

A measured approach with a strong data strategy in place, introducing data sharing and learning across the organisation using analytics and reporting tools, can prepare the foundations for the future. At Xpedition we have worked with many companies on successful projects as they start their transformation journey in this way.

Our latest whitepaper; “The Innovation Equation report’ explores how new technologies are driving digital transformation in financial services.


[i] PS21/3 Building Operational Resilience: Feedback to CP 19/32 and final rules

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