3 strategic investments financial institutions can make to deliver a superior customer experience (CX)

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3 strategic investments financial institutions can make to deliver a superior customer experience (CX)
The past year has shown leaders the importance of developing adaptable systems.
Photo by Sean Pollock on Unsplash

Digital transformation is a journey undoubtedly accelerated by the pandemic.

For banking, financial services and insurance institutions (BFSIs), this past year has been a crucial tipping point as customer relationships increasingly became more app-based. With connected applications becoming THE key relationship platform, applications have had to make dramatic shifts to optimise interaction and ensure application experiences were best-positioned to successfully advance the customer journey.

As customers adapt to the 'new normal,’ their demands and expectations of business services have changed. Consumers are now expecting more intelligent systems that can deliver consistent speed and reliability. By 2025, Australia will need 156,000 more digital technology workers, so to overcome this, BFSIs are moving towards more scalable and data-driven systems, enabling them to better adapt to the expectations of their customers in an increasingly digital, remote world.

With new technologies constantly entering the market, it can be challenging to discern what will deliver value. Here are three key areas BFSIs should prioritise to achieve true adaptability, and provide the experience customers are demanding, and the insights leaders need to succeed.

Cloud deployment and Software-as-a-Service

As BFSIs evolve their digital transformation journey, many are looking for solutions that can scale rapidly with changing market demands.

Amidst today’s distributed workforce, enterprises are under pressure to deliver services that allow customers to conduct business via technology. This increase in demand has left some by the wayside unable to scale appropriately with the new market. To remain adaptable BFSIs have turned to cloud and SaaS solutions , with recent F5 research finding that BFSIs are embracing the public cloud at a higher rate (21 percent) than other industries, with many core business functions replaced by SaaS solutions.

For BFSIs staying ahead of market changes and consumer expectations is critical for success, cloud and SaaS solutions provide BFSIs with greater agility, flexibility and scalability, meaning enterprises can more easily leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions, helping to manage threats and application issues across all their data environments.

In 2020 providing a secure digital service wasn't enough; customers have now come to demand a more streamlined and supportive experience. For businesses, these experiences can only be delivered through intuitive systems which can adapt to what consumers expect now–and in the future.

Considering 'Edge' solutions

The next investment helping BFSIs supercharge the customer experience is 'Edge' computing. As customers and businesses continue to operate remotely, latency issues, external security and real-time responsiveness are quickly becoming critical challenges. For many, the Edge has become the new frontier as companies expand their services and deliver an improved service.

Edge computing is operations performed outside of a centralised data centre, in the intermediary spaces between connected endpoints and the core IT environment. In contrast, while the cloud does offer BFSIs greater flexibility, Edge computing enables organisations to deliver applications closer to users.

Edge applications provide BFSIs with significant means to improve application performance, such as lowered service latency, data analytics and increased real-time responsiveness. With customer demands growing rapidly, edge applications and services have quickly become the standard for today's application experience, with more than 68 per cent of BFSIs planning to deploy on the Edge in the future.

While for some, edge computing may seem like the solution to many challenges facing BFSIs, the technology is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, the emergence of new technologies provides organisations with a solid foundation to begin exploring this emerging solution's full potential.

The importance of telemetry

Despite the vast amount of information enterprises are generating, many are still unable to unlock the full value of the data they are collecting. According to F5 research, 98 per cent of enterprises are missing out on the insights they need to succeed, demonstrating an apparent lack of end-to-end visibility across operations. With telemetry, operation visibility becomes a much smoother process.

Telemetry is the collection of measurements or other data at remote points and their automatic transmission to receiving equipment for monitoring.

Leveraging telemetry capabilities can help enterprises turn large volumes of data into actionable business insights. For BFSIs, the top challenges telemetry is being used to combat are the cause of performance degradation, the root cause of application issues and addressing increasingly sophisticated attacks, such as those that circumvent Multi-Factor Authentication.

With skills scarcity rising, cyber threats looming, and architectures becoming increasingly complex, it’s critical for the financial sector to consider more intelligent solutions that can leverage their telemetry to deliver the insights they need to succeed in an increasingly demanding market.

The past year has shown leaders the importance of developing adaptable systems even in times of relative stability. In the modern market, this can only be achieved through systems that can scale in response to rapid changes and the telemetry providing insights to support operations and visibility across the enterprise.

For BFSIs, this transformation will require a merging of new intelligent systems, telemetry, and a cultural change, all working together to form services that are consistent with consumer expectations and remain adaptable to tomorrow's market changes.

James Tin is Senior Director of Global Security & Fraud Solutions at F5.

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