Changing customer dynamics, evolving technologies and competition from agile disruptors are putting unprecedented pressure on financial organisations. Only through digital transformation will they be able to take advantage of new technologies, deliver better customer experiences and stay ahead of their rivals. To undergo successful transformation, however, companies will need to put the right infrastructure in place. Today, that infrastructure needs to be in the cloud: here we explain why.
Delivering better CX
Success in today’s market increasingly relies on delivering enhanced customer experience (CX). The evolution of new digital technologies means consumers expect finance companies to provide a range of online services that deliver CX in terms of convenience and value.
Today, that means providing anytime, anywhere, financial services that are quick and easy to access. Delivering these, however, means deploying mobile apps, robo-advisors, chatbots, omnichannel communications platforms, human-to-human video and the increasing number of Fintech applications. At the same time, customers will expect personalisation, conversation continuity and omnichannel brand experiences.
A fundamental requirement for putting many of these things into place is unifying data. To deliver personalised experiences and maintain conversation continuity regardless of which individual or department is speaking to a customer, financial organisations need to map customer journeys across all touchpoints. This is incredibly difficult to do when data is stored in departmental silos and using legacy technologies.
In the cloud, all that data can be unified in a single, centralised and secure repository where it can be accessed to provide end-to-end customer journey maps. What’s more, in the cloud, the services that need this data will be assured of reliability and performance beyond what can be achieved on the legacy systems most institutions still rely on.
That data, of course, can be used for other things besides enhancing CX. The cloud provides the ideal infrastructure for big data analytics, offering solutions such as AI and ML that can help finance companies to analyse data at speed to glean critical insights that improve services, identify changes in the market and disclose ways to cut costs. What’s more, as more and more data is collected and analysed, an easily expandable storage solution like the cloud means data can always be stored in the same centralised place and will never need to migrate to a bigger solution.
Speed to market is critical in the financial market and this is why the speed of the cloud is so beneficial. Servers and applications can be deployed instantly in a cloud environment, bringing new capabilities at the press of a button. Additionally, the time needed to carry out workloads is also vastly reduced; what could have taken weeks on a legacy system can be done in hours.
Leaner and greener
Two of the big attractions of the cloud for financial organisations are that it helps them reduce costs and improve their green credentials. Migrating services to the cloud has allowed numerous companies to completely dismantle their in-house data centres, eradicating capital expenditure on hardware, removing the need to pay for housing, physical security, power and insurance. Instead, they move to an op-ex payment model where fees are charged on a more manageable pay-per-use basis that is supported by the ability to scale resources up or down, on-demand. Businesses in the cloud need never run short of IT resources or waste money on redundant hardware that’s rarely used.
Of course, dismantling in-house data centres also cuts the company’s carbon footprint and improves its green credentials. With sustainability now viewed as a key element of CX, this can help attract the growing numbers of consumers who seek eco-friendly brands. This is not, however, just passing the environmental buck to the cloud provider. Modern cloud technology, with its use of SSDs, high-density server technology and data centre temperature monitoring is inherently more sustainable than in-house systems.
Keeping data secure
Finance is both a highly regulated sector and a key target for cybercriminals, which makes data security of the utmost importance. Achieving a security setup that is robust enough to keep attackers out and meet compliance requires a great deal of expertise and the use of expensive and advanced tools. Deploying such sophistication in-house is incredibly challenging for any business, especially those that rely on legacy systems that use unsupported applications.
The advantage of migrating to the cloud is that the expertise and security tools are already in place. With their own stringent regulations to comply with, cloud vendors have to ensure their infrastructure is highly secure and that tools are in place to protect their customers. These include next-gen firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, anti-malware, data encryption, SSL certificates, DDoS protection, email encryption, VPNs and spam filtering, as well as backup, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. These are vital not just for security but for compliance with regulations like GDPR and PCI DSS.
For organisations concerned about public cloud multitenancy, there is always the possibility to create a hybrid cloud, in which sensitive data is stored in a single-tenancy private cloud.
In a market where experience-led consumers now expect financial companies to show loyalty to them by delivering a wider range of digital customer experiences, organisations need digital transformation. That requires adopting an infrastructure that has the capacity, reliability, security and cost-effectiveness to deploy the latest technologies. Today, the infrastructure of choice is the cloud.
For more information about our enterprise cloud services, visit Hyperslice.com.