Evolving consumer expectations, increasing competition, and the need to stay technologically relevant have prompted many financial service providers to start investing in digital transformation.
Take the example of retail banking — paper records have been replaced by vast networks of data servers and computer systems. Consumer and transaction data is now stored in the cloud.
Similarly, the way financial services are delivered to customers has changed. Cashless or contactless payment methods now enable seamless transactions via debit and credit cards across online platforms from anywhere, at any time.
This rise in FinTech culture places great emphasis on digital transformation. While many companies are successfully digitizing old processes and reinventing their strategies, some are still struggling with basic tasks such as ensuring a robust and secure IT network to support digital transformation.
According to the BDO Middle Market Digital Transformation Survey, many financial institutions have developed a digital transformation strategy but need to implement it yet.
Increasing challenges faced by the financial sector
While FinTech offers many untapped opportunities to financial service providers, there are many challenges towards achieving digital transformation.
Here are some key issues that the financial services sector is struggling with currently.
1. Investing in new technology
Automating processes and digitizing consumer and transaction data into a consolidated online database is a top priority. There’s an urgent need to establish strong IT networks to support fast and efficient customer service across the internet, mobile and physical locations.
A study by Protiviti has also identified additional areas of technological investment for financial institutions which include workflow automation tools to lower operational, compliance, and risk management costs
To stay relevant and functional in today’s global economy, financial firms must invest in implementing new technology.
2. Surpassing consumer needs
Modern customer relationship management (CRM) requires that financial companies offer personalized services to their customers, be it individual clients or business partners. In fact, a key element of effective CRM is identifying unanticipated customer needs. When it comes to managing money, customers not only want assistance but also expert advice on how to grow their funds.
Adding to this, with online banking applications in the omnichannel mix, customer support issues must be resolved almost immediately to maintain a higher customer satisfaction level.
3. Preventing data breaches
Financial service providers host large volumes of sensitive financial information. It is no surprise then that they are often the victims of cyberattacks. Each year, they are targeted with cyber threats — compromising the data of thousands of customers such as bank account details, social security numbers, and personal information of customers. Such attacks may also put at-risk service providers under liability claims costing millions of dollars.
In October 2020, malware disguised as a phishing email campaign to promote video conferencing tools attacked a Brazillian bank in an attempt to steal the bank account information of some big corporate clients.
According to the 2017 G20 Meeting held in Germany, an increasing number of cyberthreats may undermine the confidence that customers have in financial institutions and endanger overall financial stability.
This makes it essential for financial companies to invest in solutions that overcome security vulnerabilities, especially in the IT network that hosts all this data.
4. Meeting compliance requirements
Industry regulations continue to evolve as the financial sector keeps transforming. Financial service providers must constantly evaluate their processes to keep up with international standards and shareholder expectations.
KPMG has identified 10 key regulatory standards that financial institutions must comply with, in 2021. See the infographic below:
Since the digitization of management processes involves the use of various software tools, perhaps one of the key compliance needs of financial firms these days is software licensing. Non-compliance can cost companies millions in the form of true-up costs and legal claims.
They must develop strategies that show real-time compliance status and enable compliance at all times.
5. Organizing big data
As organizations grow bigger, so does their data. This is truer for financial service providers that host a plethora of transactions and customer information. A press release by Dell Technologies states that owing to the rapid adoption of IoT, the digital universe is expected to reach a whopping size of 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020.
However, many companies still have legacy database systems that only act as storehouses. They do not have the ability to clean, sort, and process unstructured information to facilitate rational decision-making. A growing challenge for financial institutions is to sort through this data pool and determine which metrics are useful for making informed decisions.
With great challenges come great opportunities
Fintech’s disruptive model has indeed brought various management challenges for the finance sector. However, we see experts indicating a bright future for companies that stay relevant to the market:
“…Many of the new technologies that are threatening the banking industry also present significant opportunities. Those organizations that leverage big data, advanced analytics, and new technologies to improve the customer experience can build trust, loyalty, and revenues that are keys to success in the future.”
— Jim Marous, Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand and Owner/Publisher of the Digital Banking Report
The top short-term and long-term goals for the financial sector as published by BDO are operational efficiency and improving customer experience.
5 ways AssetSonar can streamline the ITAM processes of the financial services industry
A dedicated ITAM software increases operational efficiency and helps improve the customer experience with its unique features.
Below, we list some key ways AssetSonar can help the finance sector achieve these goals.
1. Centralized ITAM database
Eliminate paper trails and legacy systems with our cloud-based solution. Store the data of your entire IT landscape in the cloud. AssetSonar also integrates with multiple device management applications so you can consolidate the disparate IT asset information onto one scalable platform.
Whilst many device management solutions offer insight into the hardware configuration of IT assets used by your company, they fail to show the real-time status of where your devices are and who’s using them.
Built on the asset management framework of EZOfficeInventory, AssetSonar simplifies your operations by tracking custody and locations of IT assets and ensuring accountability with scan-based audits. Therefore, firms planning to implement a format IT landscape can gain valuable transparency into their operations with AssetSonar.
2. Integrations with leading service desks
As noted earlier, improving customer experience is the leading strategic goal of financial organizations.
Automate and personalize the service journey of internal and external stakeholders with AssetSonar. Whether it is a customer’s credit card failure, a signup request for your digital portal, or an employee facing hardware downtime with their laptop, track and expedite issues as they arise.
Our ITAM software integrates with leading service desks such as Zendesk and Jira so you can assign, track, and accelerate service requests placed by customers for top-notch customer experience.
Schedule alerts for different types of service requests so Agents can fulfill them in a timely manner. You can also run detailed reports on items associated with Zendesk tickets and Jira issues to determine the mean request fulfillment time and improve it if need be.
AssetSonar’s service desk integrations are designed to simplify customer service processes and help you establish a strong customer relationship management strategy.
3. Enhanced cybersecurity measures
Cybercrimes are a continuous threat to banks and financial companies. You can prevent them by fortifying your cybersecurity processes and eliminating any vulnerabilities in your IT network.
AssetSonar fetches data regarding the firewall security and disk encryption status of your IT Assets. It also identifies whether your devices have antivirus and antispyware software installed in them so you can proactively protect your system from malware attacks.
We also offer a virtual private cloud (VPC) instance for financial institutions with special security needs. A VPC is dedicated to one enterprise only and guards its data using different security protocols such as VPNs, IP address ranges, etc. This means your data can only be accessed by authorized users within your organization.
Our VPC instances are hosted on the AWS infrastructure — ranked as one of the world’s best computing services. It has robust controls in place and prevents unwarranted penetration into the database at all times.
4. Audit and compliance capabilities
AssetSonar helps accomplish compliance in three ways:
- Audit preparation: The Custody Verification feature enables IT Admins to request possession verification of devices from different employees and prepare audit logs to help with the annual audit process.
- Software compliance: Our software licensing module detects gaps in your licensing framework by running detailed license reports for all your software instances. It also alerts you for upcoming licensing milestones, keeps a detailed record of license payments, and analyzes software use so you can optimize future software spend as needed.
- Data governance: AssetSonar implements widely accepted security best practices for data governance purposes. We are ISO 27001 certified and GDPR compliant. Our ITAM software safeguards the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your company data.
5. Advanced reports and analytics
Interpretation of large unstructured datasets and extensive reports may get painstaking. AssetSonar offers a customizable dashboard where you can track metrics of your choice and get a quick overview of your IT environment.
AssetSonar also enables you to run reports customized to your unique business needs. You can further develop graphs based on these reports and share information like the number of support requests resolved per day or customer churn rate in the form of visuals with senior management.
With customizable metrics, reports, and graphs, you can track your organizational performance and make informed decisions that positively impact your bottom line.
Financial services can make or break the economy
Since a nation’s economy depends on the fiscal structure and the overall progress of the financial services industry, it is essential that financial firms lead the way in terms of technological advancement.
One way to achieve this is by implementing a robust ITAM tool that enables you to enhance operational efficiency, improve customer service, tighten cybersecurity, meet regulatory requirements, and make informed business decisions. With AssetSonar, you can also maximize the overall lifespan of your IT investments and get the most out of your budget, resulting in a positive economic return.