As the classic image of ledger-upon-ledger stacked high on a cluttered mahogany desk begins to fade away, let’s take a look at some of the technologies that finance and industry houses are adopting, and how channel partners can facilitate them in becoming the service providers their consumers need in the digital age.
What issues are financial institutions commonly looking to solve?
Modernisation and scale without increasing cost
As we’ve already alluded to, financial institutions have spent the better part of a decade modernising workflows and tools in an effort to accelerate growth, rein in costs and improve agility. Well-orchestrated digitalisation substantially increases customer loyalty, employee engagement and shareholder value.
Cultivating customer loyalty
Customers today are much more discerning and tech-savvy. They want personalised, customised and efficient service, and they want to be able to communicate with companies on their own terms through a variety of channels. Applications need to be more user-friendly, mobile first and provide an ever-increasing multi-channel provision in order to provide leading customer service. The 2021 World FinTech Report from Capgemini and Efma suggests 48% of Gen-Y and Gen-Z consumers are likely to switch banks because their current provider fails to offer services which meet their needs or integrate well with their platforms and applications of choice.
Streamlining applications and making them more user-friendly is an important step in retaining existing customers and attracting new ones. At a basic level, this means ensuring 24/7 access to applications and services, speeding up transactions, loan/credit approvals and resolving issues in near real-time. Modern technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are key to facilitating this.
The importance of security within the finance and insurance sectors, while nothing new, cannot be understated. Having proactive monitoring of what comes in and out of an environment is now widely recognised and accepted, but the need to mitigate the risks associated with human error remains an age-old problem. The capabilities that blockchain offers – security, reliability, transparency, and its inability to be altered – make it ideal for speeding up and improving data validation, data access and sharing, identity protections and fraud detection, while reducing risk and costs.
In today’s world, anything less than 24x7x365 availability of both service and information is enough to make a consumer look elsewhere. Whether it’s the result of a cyberattack, natural disaster or performance degradation, the result is the same. Institutions must shore up both their backup and disaster recovery process. Though this requirement is nothing new, the events of the past year – both the pandemic and an increase in cyber-events – have made the issue even more relevant.
What role does the Channel play in helping the sector adopt new technologies?
The Channel has a vital role to play. Being the conduit that has both access to the innovative technology that leading vendors have to offer, and a nuts-and-bolts understanding of the challenges that the sector faces, Channel partners can provide a tailored roadmap to help financial institutions take the right steps towards their technological goals. It’s not enough to piggyback the ‘blockchain’ zeitgeist simply because the technology is there, the Channel can help the sector maximise the opportunities available based on specific requirements, with technology that underpins an unbeatable customer experience.
What immediate opportunities should Channel Partners be looking for?
Backup should be the first line of defence for many institutions. With a solid backup plan, companies can make sure data is always available. Backup as a Service, where a vendor takes charge of a backup to a remote, secure cloud-based data repository, can provide great opportunities within institutions lacking the internal IT resource. The Channel is perfectly positioned to align the institution with a solution that accounts for every eventuality.
Over the years we’ve developed strong relationships with many of the world’s leading technology vendors, such as Fortinet, Veeam, Cisco, NetApp to name a few, with more gold and platinum accreditations than you can shake a stick at. This allows us to offer our partner community the tools their customers need, while our partners reap the commercial benefits that come with vendor relationships that have stood the test of time.