• Thu. Sep 22nd, 2022

Financial services can cut costs with digital transformation – The Australian Financial Review

ByWikafever

Sep 20, 2022

This content has been funded by an advertiser and written by the Nine commercial editorial team.
This content is produced in commercial partnership with Salesforce.
The financial services industry is facing unprecedented headwinds. Its players are grappling with post-pandemic pressures of supply chain disruptions, inflation, and a national skills shortage, making it much more expensive to run a business.
On top of this, regulatory pressure is constant, and customer expectations are ever rising.
Organisations depend on technology to fuel growth. iStock
With increased performance and market pressure, financial organisations are turning to technology, data and artificial intelligence to fuel growth, efficiency, sustainability and compliance agendas. Despite significant progress, they need to find a method to accelerate and better capture value creation that technology can provide.
A Boston Consulting Group and Salesforce report, developed in consultation with leading financial institutions in Australia, has revealed how organisations can continue to accelerate transformation outcomes and extract more value from their technology investments.
According to The Reset: Accelerating the Business Value of Technology in Financial Services report, there are three key ways financial organisations can realise the true value that modern technology platforms can provide: start with the customer and keep an eye on value, upskill workers, and foster transparency with leadership. Here’s how.
Dr Gayan Benedict is CTO and vice-president of customer advisory, Australia and New Zealand for Salesforce. 
Our research shows many financial organisations embarking on a transformation lose sight of the end goal during delivery, and then fail to realise the end value. Why? Because organisations need an approach to technology that marries long-term strategic planning and value delivery from day one.
One way to deliver value incrementally throughout execution over time, rather than at the end of investment, is through a use-case approach to technology investment.
This means focusing on a specific customer or employee outcome goal and extending these cumulatively over time.
For example, delivering a personalised onboarding experience for banking customers can help drive efficiency while having a direct impact on customer satisfaction, and higher conversion rates.
There are significant advantages to this approach: improved control over investment and cost, the ability to pivot and accelerate work based on market shifts, and increased connection between strategy and execution. The Reset report found that organisations that implement a use-case driven approach can get to market twice as fast, reduce development costs by 50 per cent, and double the value, compared to organisations that don’t.
The success of digital transformations requires building base-level technology knowledge across the organisation. A lack of understanding of the capabilities and features a platform provides out of the box often leads to investments that achieve little value. And in worst-case scenarios, the purchase of technology that isn’t fit for purpose.
One way to internally close the technology skills gap is by fostering an organisational culture of continuous learning and taking advantage of external training and learning content. Trailhead, for example, is a free online learning platform and community which democratises knowledge and education, creating an equal and accessible pathway into the Salesforce ecosystem.
Our research showed that putting the technology back into the hands of business units will make teams more productive and accelerate innovation delivery timelines.
Technology is often only a part of the solution — the non-technical aspects, such as policies, cultivating skills, and redesigning operations, are a much larger element (typically around 70 per cent according to BCG). Organisational change is required to embed and capture the value of technology.
Support needs to come from the top for change to be implemented effectively and for true organisational adoption. BCG research has shown that working closely with leadership can increase the chances of successfully deploying a technology innovation. Early and frequent interactions with leaders foster transparency, trust, and importantly, buy-in.
During periods of disruption, the businesses that continuously adapt to change quickest are the ones that will thrive. Technology will remain key to businesses achieving growth and meeting customer expectations, but successful implementations are now reliant on seeing incremental and heightened value faster — whether that’s by focusing on user outcomes, upskilling employees, or ensuring leadership buy-in.
Although we can’t predict the future, organisations can be strategic and build better resilience. They must rethink their approach to value creation at every level, and in every function.
Dr Gayan Benedict is CTO and vice-president of customer advisory, Australia and New Zealand for Salesforce and former CIO of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
To read the full report, visit Salesforce
This content has been funded by an advertiser and written by the Nine commercial editorial team.
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