With the need for digital transformation gathering pace in recent months and a huge number of products at your disposal, how do you go about selecting the best digital transformation solution? Lynn Vo of Appway explains how financial services firms can make the right choice when pursuing new technical solutions to respond to changing business needs.
The current global pandemic has shed a light on how adept (and, in some cases, inept) financial institutions are with their digital transformation strategies. While some firms may have implemented these approaches in core business areas, there are others who have not, and now find themselves critically behind with many opportunities in areas that touch every aspect of the business.
While many firms have engaged in business process redesign, process can’t fix everything. Those firms lagging in digital transformation have found themselves much less agile as they have tried to respond to the repercussions of COVID-19. As a result, digital transformation initiatives have moved to the top of the priority list and firms are aggressively seeking solutions to meet these needs.
Because Process Can’t Fix Everything
So how does one go about finding the best digital transformation solution? With so many vendor products in the market, it can be an overwhelming task. At Appway, we recommend you start by understanding your business goals in order to determine the best approach for your business, process, channels, future strategic initiatives, and environment (including operating, systems, and culture).
To make it easy to remember how to approach this process, we propose the following mnemonic:
Because = Business
Process = People
Can’t = Channels
Fix = Future
Everything = Environment
Understanding your business goals is a critical component. Is it to service clients in the best possible way by offering digital tools for a frictionless onboarding experience? Is it to mitigate risks by embedding everchanging regulatory rules into every aspect of your process? Is it to reduce operational costs by streamlining activities with full transparency and collaboration? Or is it to gain new business and enhance scalability for growth leveraging Cloud capabilities? For many organizations, business goals can encompass all of the above. Moreover, is it important to identify not only the business objectives but also their prioritization, timeframes, and any metrics by which to measure their success.
It is imperative not only to identify the primary business unit and recipients but also to include all key constituents such as compliance, operations, front office, and clients in your discussions. The issue of alignment can pose a challenge, however, as each constituent may have their own objectives; as long as you have clearly defined your business goals (see above), you can use them to manage the various project objectives and expectations.
With the increasing demand for digital tools, it is important to consider what channels are required to support your goals. Whether you are looking for a fully virtual self-directed client onboarding solution or a hybrid model to support high-touch relationship management, there should be omni-channel support with the ability to easily move from one medium to another with full transparency into the process. Tools should not be limited only to the front-end experience, but also include operational efficiencies such as remote capabilities and collaboration.
While it is important to understand your immediate business goals, it is just as important to think about the future, and to ensure any changes introduced are future-proof and able to support both short- and long-term initiatives. Many firms will start tactically, executing bits and pieces to gain adoption while creating a foundation for additional initiatives, like incorporating electronic signature as a quick hit but then looking to add video identification for a well-blended experience. Other firms will start strategically to address an overarching domain that may change over time, like tackling how to address shifting global regulations with various approaches such as one centralized global solution incorporating all the local variations versus independent solutions for each local jurisdiction. Whether you start with a tactical solution or a broad-based strategy, be mindful of potential future adaptations.
Understanding your technology landscape and how a solution will fit into your ecosystem is also essential. Some organizations install tools tactically in isolation with future plans to integrate with the ecosystem, while others install strategically with integration connectivity at the forefront but limited functionality to expand upon later. Cloud capabilities and benefits of maintenance, security, and scalability should also be included in your review. In addition, every organization has a culture, and the solution must fit within the culture and evolve accordingly.
Don’t try to change the culture with technology.
All of these areas go hand in hand and will provide the underpinning for a successful vendor evaluation – because process can’t fix everything. When it comes to time to choose the best digital transformation solution, functionality and pricing aside, make sure to select a vendor who will partner with you and grow with you as your business evolves.
Author: Lynn Vo, Solutions Sales Consultant, Appway
Appway is dedicated to the success of its customers around the world. With its toolsets, leadership, community, and methodology, Appway empowers its customers to become leaders in the Digital Age. This article was first published on the Appway website.
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