Automation is redesigning financial services delivery, customer experience and money movement. But with so much technological modification, it’s a confusing world. Banks, insurers and wealth managers are asking themselves, “Where should we focus? How do we remain relevant in such a fast-changing environment? What are the non-negotiables?” In this article, Jason Broomfield, industry lead: financial services at BlueSky, spells it out.
The core sectors of digital transformation
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into all business domains, essentially altering how you operate and deliver value to customers. It is not just the front-end bells and whistles and is far broader than deploying a chat bot to your website.
There are at least three ways in which businesses can digitally transform. The first is to introduce more digital products into your product mix, for example by creating things like a virtual bank card. The second route is to enable new digital client engagement channels such as introducing WhatsApp integration into your service centre. The third area of transformation is the digitisation of business operations, be it the front, middle or back office or, ideally, all three. Irrespective of where you are in your journey, there are a number of must-haves that need to be in place.
Plan around the customer
Progressive businesses have started to move from siloed product houses to customer centric operating models. This will very quickly become the benchmark with personalised experiences and tailored products being the entry ticket to the game. Start of by asking, “What does excellent look like?” for your different customer personas and revisit these view regularly. Ultimately, as financial products become more commoditised and golf course deals become less feasible, customer experience will be your primary differentiator. Start with the customer.
Identify change champions
Not every employee in your business is ready to adopt digital transformation and some may even feel threatened by it. Employee buy-in is critical to achieving your business objectives, realising return on investment and ultimately achieving your full digitised potential. Identify digital transformation champions across all levels to help create excitement, embed your company culture into the change process and, ultimately, help drive adoption.
Shift to modular design, leverage the cloud
Modular business principles help financial services companies rapidly change without a core overhaul. With a modular structure in place, businesses can innovate fast and in line with rapidly changing customer needs. A modular architecture enables the company to go beyond reacting to market realities to actively creating them. It allows your business to adapt fast, learn fast, and recover from failure quickly. Luckily, this is a lot easier today than a decade ago as more and more cloud providers take on the infrastructure heavy lifting on your behalf. Find a partner to help you navigate this journey so that you can focus on what you do best.
Test quickly, change iteratively
In the world of digital transformation, agility is the new currency. Start small by developing the minimum functionality of your new digital product or channel. Test it live with actual end-users, make improvements while testing and see how it works. It’s all about people, processes and technology to achieve excellence at speed while reducing risks.
Utilise data to drive digital transformation
Data is the unsexy oil that drives digital strategies and as such, must be invested in. If pressed, many companies would admit that their data estates could be improved; however, how often do we bring data into our strategic thinking? Tactically solving today’s problem won’t necessarily enable you for tomorrow’s big change. Take the time to put the right data practices, infrastructure and governance in place now to give you the agility you will need to remain competitive – the volumes and complexity are only going to increase exponentially.
If you would like to accelerate your digital transformation journey, regardless of where you are, get in touch for a no-obligation consultation with a BlueSky subject matter expert.
BlueSky is a new-age boutique cloud technology business with around 140 employees and based in Johannesburg and Cape Town. We specialise in a suite of cloud-related service lines including cloud delivery and support, digital advisory, data and analytics, experience design, and a cloud academy. We currently offer AWS, Salesforce, Vlocity, Tableau and more. We also have a very strong industry focus in financial services, telecommunications, media, fast-moving consumer goods and industrials. Visit bsky.co.za for more information.
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