No ifs, maybes or buts about it: business mobility is here to stay. It’s no longer just a visionary technology strategy—or challenge, depending on your perspective—for financial services’ IT teams.
It is now a prerequisite for success in the financial services industry. If you are not doing something about it, you are passing up opportunities for better customer service, higher employee productivity, and greater efficiency and security in IT operations. However, the good news is that we now have battle-hardened best practices from the frontline to serve as reference.
In a recent survey of financial IT leaders, over 50 percent indicated that business mobility is a critical or high priority in the next 12 months, and that the average spend on these initiatives has increased. These IT leaders are spending almost 20% of their annual budget on business mobility.
For the IT leaders who have embarked on this journey to transform their financial services business, starting points focused on the following three objectives:
- The customer experience: enabling mobile access via different devices to business apps and data. More than one-third of financial services IT departments will start with delivering customer-facing mobile applications, much higher than in other industry sectors.
- Business security: creating mobile security policies and strategies to protect apps, data and files. More than one-third will start with one of the following: managing compliance and mandate requirements, improving data and/or file sharing security or creating mobile security policies or strategies.
- Making the IT infrastructure ready for mobility: deploying technology to support different apps, devices, services and networks
What challenges do these IT leaders face? After “integration of legacy apps and data,” there is the protection of data and files. The importance of security to the success of business mobility is further underscored when these IT leaders indicated that the top three most important technologies to get right are security-related:
- Protection of business-critical apps, data and files
- Securing and optimizing network performance
- Policy management and compliance for systems, user access and data
Is there a payoff? Yes! These financial services IT leaders are seeing benefits that are real and tangible. The top three are:
- Improving operational productivity: mobility empowers team members to work anywhere, anytime, as well as retain and attract top talent across geographical or lifestyle boundaries. A remote/mobile workforce means that the business can reduce investment in facilities and branch offices.
- Enhancing the customer experience: always-available and always-secure mobile and web apps mean that customers can conduct business at their convenience without having to physically be in a branch office, and their usage of the apps can provide the business with data to track. Additionally, agents armed with mobile technologies can bring in-home service to customers who may not be able to get to the branch office.
- Increasing organizational agility: with a mobile infrastructure, financial institutions can keep business running despite interruptions such as natural disasters, political turmoil, or even simple upgrades. They also remain agile enough to respond to various market changes, including seasonal peaks and M&A. Access to apps and data, regardless of where they are and what device they use, can be provisioned quickly and easily, getting them productive from day one.
As you can see, forward-thinking financial services IT leaders are making business mobility a priority, smartly tackling security challenges to ensure success, and reaping the well-deserved benefits that ultimately contribute to the business bottom line, competitive edge, and longevity in the market. Read more about our customer stories and how they have succeeded at business mobility.