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TIME FOR THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR TO BANK ON CONSUMERISATION

23/01/2019

By Mark Flexman, DXC Fruition Practice Lead, DXC Technology

 

 

Today we can use our phones to control our lives. Want to check your bank balance, go to your bank’s app. A new loan or savings account? Again, check your app or head online and you can take out new financial products at the swipe of a finger. Just aa decade ago the idea that we’d be able to access financial products as easily as we can order a cab through Uber or our grocery shopping from Amazon, would have been unimaginable. The problem is that this experience is one that simply hasn’t been replicated in many workplaces.

 

Employees working for a bank that might offer everything through an app – or indeed be totally accessed through the internet – don’t get the same experience when they sit in front of their computers. Need a new desk chair? You better be ready to spend a long time on the phone or send multiple e-mails. Equally just requesting holiday or a meeting room is complex and takes huge amounts of time. Internal services in the banking and financial sector just haven’t kept up with the consumerisation of technology.

 

Mark Flexman

With research finding the average organisation is only 40% of the way to providing fully mature internal services (known as ‘everything as a service’ – EaaS), there is a major opportunity for financial services organisations to improve service delivery while ensuring higher productivity, lower costs, and greater employee satisfaction. According to research by ServiceNow, managers rate consumer service platforms 103% higher than workplace services. This dissatisfaction is driven by outdated technology in the workplace; only 22% of workplace services can be ordered and tracked via mobile devices, compared with 65% of consumer services on offer to banking customers. There is a huge gap between employee expectation and the services offered by financial organisations.

 

‘Consumerising’ employee services 
At best, only in 21% of organisations can all services from departments such as HR, IT, Finance, Facilities, and Legal be consumed in a self-service manner – a key element of ‘consumerising’ the employee service experience. In addition, only 23% have a consistent way for users to interact with internal services providers. This is in stark contrast with consumer offerings – especially in the financial services sector – where services are constantly being expanded to include self-service management. The knock-on effect of this lack of service maturity means failing to offer unified services through the cloud is costing financial services organisations huge amounts of money as they rely on using different tools to offer similar services across the business.

 

Delivering EaaS within a bank or financial institution is about far more than keeping employees happy with the latest tech. There is also the potential to drive significant return on investment (ROI) through delivering services in a joined-up, automated, online way – not unlike the offerings that consumers get from banks. These include improved efficiency of operations, as well as better productivity from staff due to time saved when making and tracking service requests. Most importantly, businesses will find that their service availability is much improved by limiting downtime because of having a single consolidated service automation platform.

 

Four easy steps to make EaaS a reality for the financial services sector
For those CIOs in banks and financial services organisations keen to take advantage of these benefits, the following four steps give a good outline of how to successfully implement EaaS:

  1. The lay of the land: Before embarking on a journey to EaaS, financial services institutions must assess their current level of maturity. This means focussing on how services are delivered today, what the delivery structure, what processes are used, and which technology is in place.
  2. What’s missing and what’s easy to update: The next step is to put in place systems and processes that make big changes, fast. For instance:
    a. How many manual and email-based processes are in place, costing money and time that could be eliminated?
    b. Are there process areas that can be combined to provide economy of scale in automation?
    c. Eliminating standalone applications that can be consolidated onto a single platform.
    d. Pinpointing where IT service management platforms can be most easily extended to other functions.
  3. Don’t overcomplicate: Technology and organisation are relatively easy to get right, but to truly benefit from EaaS, CIOs must lead the way in delivering organisation-wide integrated, consumer-friendly services and processes, based on a common platform.
  4. Continuous improvement: CIOs should measure the effects of delivering the service revolution (e.g. cost savings and increased user satisfaction) and communicate the benefits across the organisation to demonstrate the value, and bring other service functions on board.

 

Updating outdated workplace services in any business won’t happen overnight, but there are many elements that can be put in place by those in the financial sector relatively quickly to make a huge difference. Banks and other financial institutions should be acting now to see which elements they might already have in place and can be expanded, as well as setting out a roadmap for further change. What’s more they should be considering what technology they might be offering banking customers that they can also offer internally. The results will be more satisfied employees and also cost and time savings alongside much improved service availability.

 

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Finance Derivative is a global financial and business analysis magazine, published by FM.Publishing. It is a yearly print and online magazine providing broad coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy.