Executives respond to a new banking landscape

Changes in consumer behavior are putting a spotlight on digitization

Banks can ill afford to press pause on shaping the financial services firm of the future, even in the midst of exhaustive efforts to support their business and consumer clients through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global crisis could result in permanent changes to the way businesses operate. For banking, rapidly evolving customer expectations necessitate a spotlight on digital services. The work-from-home environment has broken down barriers to digitization, and competition from finance sector disruptors means traditional financial sector institutions must evolve digital workflows for employee service and customer experience to compete.

Take time to learn from this new way of work and ask your people: What has made you operate more effectively and what hurdles are left to overcome? Aligning your digital transformation projects to this new way of work will help organizations emerge from the crisis stronger—and help the business thrive, not just survive.

A banking agenda for the COVID-19 era and beyond:

Take the opportunity to work more effectively

Digital transformations typically have two big goals. Firstly, unlocking productivity for employees by automating and streamlining workloads across every department. Secondly, creating great customer experiences by focusing on what people encounter, observe, or feel when they interact with a service.

In short: investing in ways to sustain powerful employee engagement and drive fierce customer loyalty.

Leveraging data and insights from the 330,000-plus developers currently using ServiceNow’s Now Platform to transform the way we work, we sought to help banks address their unique digital transformation challenges and create value at scale.

We began by asking our financial services customers what their main concern is when it comes to digitizing the bank of the future. Not surprisingly, they told us that competitive advantage boils down to speed.

As the industry becomes more customer-need-oriented, organizations are competing for attention, data, and to deliver an experience that mirrors what we’ve come to expect from every area of our lives: ease and simplicity. The big banks want to augment their advantages of incumbency with the latest technology and ways of working. Meanwhile, retail customers are offered ever-easier ways to meet their financial needs, spreading their portfolio across providers with a tap or a swipe.

In the battle to prepare for tomorrow’s banking customer, financial services organizations expect to enable more intelligent, integrated ecosystems at a lower cost, while at the same time creating a truly customer-centric operating model. A classic case of value and vision collision, you could say.

With that distinct set of challenges in mind, ServiceNow has introduced a new banking-specific solution. Delivered in partnership with Deloitte, our suite of workflows will change how banks operate and support their delivery of reimagined customer experiences.

We’ve created these customized workflows to simplify cumbersome middle-to-back-office processes, so banks can move at the speed of digital business. Cloud-based, intelligent solutions will deliver seamless experiences throughout the financial services enterprise, removing known pain points and enabling employees to get work done faster and more intuitively.

Matt Dalton, Deloitte’s Lead Partner for ServiceNow APAC, explains how the banking sector can navigate its way through the pandemic with digitization: “Technology is among the most powerful weapons in every organization’s arsenal for responding effectively and decisively to this challenge. Our Financial Services clients are looking to leverage technology to reimagine customer experiences, which have become even more relevant in the current climate. As part of our strategic collaboration with ServiceNow, we are combining Deloitte’s industry know-how with ServiceNow’s intelligent and intuitive cloud platform to deliver solutions that help our Financial Services clients move at the speed of digital business.”

Mind the expectation gap

One of the reasons digital transformation is so difficult is because perceptions of what success looks like are fragmented.

Global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman recently surveyed investors in the financial services industry and found three-quarters were not confident that digital transformation strategies will be effective. Fewer believe plans are well articulated.

When asked whether banks had outlined a clear and credible digital transformation agenda when it came to costs, benefits, and timelines, not a single survey respondent agreed.

The research offers a sharp insight as investors struggle to make sense of digital transformation, technology, and investment, without comparable data points. According to the report, banks will increasingly have to balance the tension between long-term transformation—a vision mindset—while addressing the demand to quantify short-term deliverables and ROI—a value mindset.

As financial institutions grapple with an uncertain outlook and increased pressure from regulators and shareholders, the onus is firmly on executive leaders and their technology partners, like ServiceNow, to anchor their transformation journeys in the metrics that really matter. All stakeholders need certainty that their transformation strategy is delivering. Leaders must strike the right balance between long-term change and incremental improvements. The impact of intelligent workflows that simplify systems and processes and connect departments to work more collaboratively will boost productivity. This is good news for business, a better way to work, and is great for the economy.

Be meticulous in your metrics

The challenge for the C-suite is not only in backing the right strategy for their business, but in how they choose to measure and articulate progress. You need to be meticulous in defining transformation metrics and validate how that aligns with what your various stakeholders care about. Provide clarity on what drives performance, while ensuring progress on long-term change is tracked.

There’s no question digital transformation is the gateway to unleashing productivity and fueling innovation. ServiceNow’s financial services solution is an accelerator to digitization strategies, whether banks are investing in a vision to harness tomorrow’s customers or deliver value via quick wins today.

The reward is that when you anchor your digital transformation in the metrics that matter, confidence and credibility follow.