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The road ahead for financial services: 9 strategies for digital transformation

The landscape for banks, credit unions and lenders can often feel hard to navigate — but the digital path forward doesn’t need to be an uncharted venture.

Smiling person with hands on the keyboard of a desktop computer.

Financial services firms have spent years asking their IT departments to transform their digital capabilities to combat disruptors like fintech, security concerns and challenging competitive environments.

Now more than ever, technology teams must navigate new pathways toward optimization amongst dramatically shifting behaviors among customers — and employees — in an increasingly tech-dependent world.

We’ve got the roadmap.

9 ways to optimize your digital journey

1. Focus on the right mix of digital transformation and digital optimization strategies

What it means: Digital transformation doesn’t completely end. No financial enterprise has the time, resources or budget to transform its technology and processes every year. Optimizing your technology is how to make incremental improvements and enable your IT team — and everyone else — to grow your organization for the long-term.

What it takes:

  • Deployment of the right digital technologies to move key business initiatives forward, like faster loan processing, on-time compliance reporting and better customer experiences
  • Optimization of existing processes that bring value to the enterprise
  • A commitment from leadership to take an always-on approach to fine-tuning efficiency gains with smart, tailored solutions that align with your business priorities

2. Bring your data together with a content services platform

What it means: A content services platform unites all your business-critical content and processes. By eliminating the roadblocks keeping your content apart, financial firms can reduce processing times, increase collaborative efforts and more effectively streamline digital interactions.

What it takes:

  • A content services platform that provides a way for employees to retrieve and work with content in a modern, seamless way across devices and organizational boundaries
  • Enterprise-wide platform components that include document and data capture, content management, process automation, and powerful search capabilities
  • A platform that tightly integrates with important business-level systems, so all documents and data are quickly accessible for a complete view of the customers

3. Improve efficiencies and productivity

What it means: There are activities your organization must complete regardless of how long it takes, like reporting and responding to customer inquiries. However, they can often be done quicker and with less friction — while delivering better results for customers or members — when you implement solutions that can automate important processes.

What it takes:

  • Comprehensive analysis of what processes can be automated and how big of an impact the right technology solution could have in automating them (think the loan lifecycle and customer experiences)
  • Investment and seamless deployment of automation technology like robotic process automation (RPA), customer communication management (CCM) and priority work management
  • A platform that makes working remotely accessible, seamless and secure

4. Support your compliance strategy with automation

What it means: Compliance standards are detailed and ever-changing, but there is so much on the line for financial firms that a solution that gets it right — and makes compliance easier — can prove invaluable. Audits, fraud cases and new requirements can all be automated and managed with the right tool.

What it takes:

  • Case management and workflow tools that give your team complete visibility into processes from loan document tracking and document retention to how data is kept safe across the enterprise
  • Integration with core financial services systems so your team can minimize IT stacks and limit information access to the right people
  • The technology flexibility to quickly and easily adapt to regulatory changes

5. Bring speed and agility to your technology strategy

What it means: Agility wins, in the financial services industry and everywhere else. Your financial firm must be adaptable, quick and able to rapidly respond to an environment that’s proven itself volatile as the pace of business accelerates.

What it takes:

  • Low-code capabilities, which can cut the average number of weeks to develop and deliver an application in half
  • The ability for your team to quickly low-code entire applications that are built on top of your enterprise-wide content services platform, which leads to increased collaboration, more system communication and platform-level security
  • Business unit leaders who want more development input about the features and usability of applications their front-line employees will use to meet customer expectations

6. Get your cloud strategy off the ground

What it means: Financial firms are racing to move to a value-enabled cloud solution. A proven cloud solution is more than just storage — it’s business continuity, content visibility, enhanced business resilience and security, an opportunity to scale your growth and a strategic way to modernize your IT infrastructure.

What it takes:

  • A business development case that focuses on how your firm will leverage cloud-delivered solutions to increase customer insights and experiences, grow revenue and lower costs
  • A plan for migrating your data from on-premises to a trusted, proven cloud partner
  • A cloud partner aligned to your platform requirements; for example, leading content services provider Hyland’s cloud offering has shown a 293 percent return on investment and 50 percent higher end-user productivity

7. Use your tech to focus on people

What it means: Technology should make the quality of conducting business better for everyone who comes in contact with it — your employees as well as your customers or members. The right tools should make employees’ days more productive, customer interactions more enjoyable and personal, and outcomes swifter and more accurate.

What it takes:

  • Tools that see your customer from every vantage point, so loan processing, customer onboarding, in-person interactions and account status are up to date, accurate and personalized
  • Automated communication management tools that help your customers or members get the information they need, when they need it, and on the channel where they prefer to consume it
  • A system that eliminates manual or repetitive tasks so employees can focus on high-value work

8. Secure your system with a foundation-up strategy

What it means: Your enterprise is only as safe as its least-secure app or integration, so keeping private data safe needs to be a central part of your business strategy. Leading content services platforms provide all the best practices in security by providing must-haves like automated data classification, records and retention management, data encryption, role-based controls and more.

What it takes:

  • Tight integrations with line-of-business applications
  • A platform that allows you to build new apps using the platform’s strong, foundational security features
  • The ability to apply and maintain granular levels of security

9. Keep your eyes open for the next bend in the road

What it means: The pace of change in the financial world demands constant evolution and adjustments in its technology, so keep an eye to the horizon for new forks in the road.

What it takes:

  • An executive and corporate culture supportive of digital innovation
  • Input and participation from the people who will use the software
  • A strategy for connecting agile technology with the highest value business processes