By Ross Feldman, Chief Technology Officer - Banking, Insurance, HP Enterprise Services
Few sectors have been impacted more in the current economic and regulatory environment than the financial services sector, with pressures continuing in terms of earnings, market pressures, and regulatory requirements, not to mention customer impacts and threats of entirely new competitive sets.
Financial institutions (FIs) must continue to evolve with these changes to remain competitive and relevant in their markets. Companies must examine and address the powerful consumer, regulatory, and competitive trends sweeping banking and financial industries.
Fortunately, there are a number of enhanced and emerging technologies to assist—from cloud and mobile solutions to increasingly advanced core banking, business intelligence, and customer service solutions. These powerful tools are valuable in today’s difficult economy and in tomorrow’s hoped-for recovery, driving innovation and growth across modern financial services businesses.
Banks, insurance companies, capital market firms, and others now work in an environment fraught with a daunting array of challenges. Corporate FI leaders must balance their investment in capabilities and infrastructure with the right conservatism in terms of risk management and cost containment.
At the same time, customer demands are always increasing and changing. FI leaders adept at reading the customer and competitive environment know that nimble organizations with the infrastructure, tools, and flexibility to meet these demands are the ones that will succeed.
These trends—and the methods, tools, and strategies needed to address these realities—are of paramount concern and priority for leaders within financial service firms worldwide.
To meet these significant challenges, grow business, and develop industry capabilities, financial services institutions are seeking and deploying a new generation of information technology (IT) to:
- Reduce costs—With decreasing margins in many areas, FIs are eager to find solutions to create greater efficiencies and customer insights, as well as alternative methods to reduce costs.
- Sharpen their competitive edge—Banks have a new and emergent set of competitors, many of which come from different industries altogether.
- Drive modernization—FIs have a significant imbalance of budget spending for IT initiatives with an inequitable percentage going toward systems maintenance versus improvement and development initiatives.
- Enhance customer service—FIs strive to consistently improve customer relationships, customer intelligence, and servicing capabilities.
- Improve marketing—Financial institutions can harness and manage information in powerful new ways and leverage those insights to make better market, channel, and customer service decisions.
Financial services firms must have the tools needed to manage costs and risk to comply with stricter regulations and drive customer satisfaction, productivity, and growth. By understanding the nature and requirements of these emerging technologies, leaders can prepare their organizations to survive and succeed in business and economic conditions of any kind.
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