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Building resilience and agility in financial services during a time of crisis

 

Rapidly accessible digital solutions can support both tactical and longer-term needs

“Financial institutions have to deal with two challenges in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The first challenge is financial – how to address and mitigate the sharp drop in the value of financial assets or loss of liquidity. The second challenge is operational – how to address the risk of failure of resources (people, processes, technology, facilities and information) to deliver business service.”

BIS, Financial Stability Institute report, April 2020

Introduction

Our financial services clients tell us that resilience, risk management and agility are their three operational priorities as they strive to adapt their operations to service customers effectively today and into an uncertain future.

To support them, we’re exploiting our pre-pandemic experience of helping financial services businesses harness technology to increase efficiency and improve customer experience.

Digital transformation can help meet all three of these challenges – resilience, risk management and agility. But can it be done quickly enough? Or is it too unwieldy, slow and expensive an undertaking to achieve the rapid change needed to weather the current storm? In our experience, it depends on the type of digital transformation programme and technology you’re talking about.

Using a low code, cloud-based CRM or customer experience platform to transform digitally, you can customise and deploy rapidly to access the tools you need now and gain the agility you need to react to changing circumstances in the future. Microsoft Dynamics 365, the Power Platform and Xpedition’s sector-specific FS Xcelerator are designed for fast implementation and impact in financial services with minimal disruption. Here are some of the essential capabilities they deliver:

Business resilience and scalability

The ongoing economic and social uncertainty means you need to be able to react fast to changing circumstances. A cloud-based CRM platform like Dynamics 365 gives you the ability to adapt at pace and scale.

Grow or shrink your system user base, integrate and connect existing and new applications and customise your capability as needed to meet the current priorities. Adding new functions and capabilities no longer require a complex software development project. The Power Platform is designed for rapid, low code application build and launch.

There’s no need to tie up capital in technology systems with the cloud-based Dynamics 365 platform. It also strikes out maintenance and upgrades overheads from your budget.

Evolving and adapting products and services

Meeting customer and market needs while managing risk in a volatile economic environment during and after the pandemic is challenging for product management and development. Financial services organisations are rising to new challenges as customers’ financial situations change.

Consumer banks may need to facilitate mortgage holidays, or provide emergency loans backed by the government. Business loans are being extended and institutions are asking for new terms and arrangements. Customers may be reassessing their investments and requiring extra advice. Financial services organisations must show that they are customer-centric, finding timely and helpful solutions on a large scale. But they must also manage their own risk exposure.

We know for example, that a key focus more many financial services organisations is to ensure they have the tools and capability to strengthen their liquidity and capital resilience in order to mitigate against any potential future risks arising from the current situation.

Digital platforms and tools can help tackle immediate needs like risk triage for loans in the particular context of the pandemic and lockdown. The low code Dynamics 365 Power Platform means you can build or customise service and processing applications quickly. Our sector-specific Financial Services Xcelerator for Dynamics 365 provides specialist capabilities in custom-built, off the shelf apps, for maximum agility.

Help strengthen liquidity and capital resilience with the FS Xcelerator 

Customer communication and experience

As well as reacting to the current situation, further challenges are on the horizon. Financial services organisations predict a downturn later in the year and into 2021, when the furlough scheme and government loans are no longer available and we see the full extent of the Covid-19 impact.

With full customer data in a digital CRM platform, you can be immediately responsive at client level. In Dynamics 365, dashboard analytics allow you to assess and anticipate likely product and service requirements and to identify emerging risk. You can personalise contacts, campaigns and communications to address these particular needs and circumstances as they emerge.

It’s this agility that’s vital in order to maintain customer confidence and service standards in changing times.

Remote working and system access

In lockdown, working from home has become business as usual for services businesses. Many financial services organisations have struggled to make the shift because security and compliance concerns have held them back from embracing flexible working practices in everyday business. It’s now clear that all future business systems, applications and platforms will need to support agile, secure and efficient remote working.

It’s not just a quick fix for today or against the future risk of further lockdown. Permanent changes to workforce expectations and habits are already emerging from the pandemic. To control overheads and compete for staff against agile fintech workplaces, more traditional financial services organisations need to embed effective remote working capabilities.

Data and system security are crucial for remote working in financial services, so it’s vital to select technology that offers the most stringent ongoing protection. Microsoft invests more than £1 billion a year in security of digital assets and uses its own Azure Cloud to host Dynamics 365. Its Cyber Defense Operations Center operates around the clock to detect and respond to threats.

You can achieve resilience and agility at pace through digital transformation

Unexpected circumstances require a rapid response. Financial services firms need the digital infrastructure and capability to cope with the uncertain environment we now find ourselves in, as well as a range of possible future circumstances.

Adapting and pivoting quickly and efficiently will be key to success and even survival in the coming months and years. Together, the FS Xcelerator, Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Power Platform give financial services firms the ability to accelerate digital transformation so they can improve resilience, increase agility and manage risk.

Learn how Xpedition’s FS Xcelerator can improve agility and strengthen resilience

Join the FS Xcelerator webinar on 30th June to find out more about how Xpedition’s new, innovative suite of industry-specific apps, built using the latest Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform features, combined with our industry experience, helps financial services firm’s strengthen their agility and resilience, and enables them to drive business continuity.

To hear from Openwork and Xpedition, register for the webinar today >

Register now