Vikas Srivastava, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Integral, looks at five key reasons as to why taking advantage of the cloud is essential for financial firms in the race for market share and profitability.
In today’s technology dominated world of finance, people expect their experience to be easy and convenient. Paying a bill with a smartphone is a familiar example. Using your smartphone, you make the payment in a few keystrokes.
Of course, what seems routine and simple is because of complex and sophisticated behind-the-scenes technology that’s supported on cloud servers that could be located anywhere in the world. Financial firms, spurred on by phrases such as ‘digital transformation’ and ‘best-in class customer experience’ are racing to make the most of the cloud’s capabilities to cut costs, engage customers, and support employees.
With this in mind, what exactly are the ways financial firms can use the cloud to outrun the competition?
1. Do it at lower cost
Profitability and competition relentlessly pressure organizations to reduce costs. The information technology department, the traditional business unit that manages on-premise servers and applications, is a cost center that is often a budget-trimming target. If firms want to reduce technology expenses, you’ll find cloud computing results in dramatically lower costs compared to the traditional on-premise computing system model.
2. Use the cloud to enhance customer engagement and experience
Customers want personalized service when they interact with their financial institutions. A financial firm has to provide a superior customer experience to differentiate itself as most products or services can be obtained from more than one source. The exceptional experience relies heavily on a complete understanding of the customer: What are the customer’s best interests, changing needs, and typical ways of receiving service?
That customer information needs to be comprehensive, timely and accurate; the cloud is ideally situated to collect and manage that information. Being more agile when it comes to turning customer information into actionable insights, performing mandatory Know Your Customer checks and enabling the delivery of custom services to customers puts you ahead of the competition. Having all data in one place enables far easier data analysis, allowing you to optimize services based on customer needs.
3. Keep talented workers happy and productive
Many talented workers are asking – or demanding – to work remotely part or full time; the cloud is ideal for supporting remote staff. The trend to remote work is predicted by some to increase to 25% of high-paying jobs in North America by the end of 2022.
In addition, a recent report stated that productivity in the U.S. during the pandemic was driven entirely by firms with remote-work capacity. Given that productivity, workers in the office wonder at the requirement to be present especially when many team members are still remote. The cloud is ideally situated to support that employment transformation while raising productivity, boosting collaboration, and enhancing work-life balance.
4. Be innovative, scalable, and agile
Innovative, timely and sophisticated solutions play well to cloud computing’s strengths. The first advantage is the cloud’s capability to scale to meet customer demand. A financial firm can create a new product and easily expand infrastructure. Products can be differentiated to meet regional needs and then easily expanded across geographies.
The expansion occurs without incurring costs that could occur in an on-premise solution which requires additional space, staff, and support that could be challenging – or even impossible – to obtain in a short period.
Agility is a strength that can be leveraged in new product launches when time-to-market is crucial. Product launch cycles from idea generation to deployment are becoming shorter to address competitive pressure; the cloud can deliver that competitive edge.
5. Enhance collaboration
The pandemic heightened awareness of collaboration requirements, but the need for better ways to work together simultaneously on documents has existed far before COVID. The cloud’s abilities make it the perfect tool for co-workers and even others outside the firm to collaborate.
For example, problems with version control are familiar office worker pain points. Being able to access, read, and edit while team members are in the document means everyone can see changes as they occur. Collaboration can enhance teamwork and morale. Team members located outside the office, in another country, or even someone from an outside organisation can offer ideas and revise a document.
Traditional wisdom holds that the race isn’t always to the swift nor the battle to the strong but that’s the way to bet. Using the cloud to reduce costs, provide meaningful customer experiences and enhance worker productivity – among many other benefits – improves the odds that you’ll overtake the competition and do it with increased revenue and profitability.