9 Essential Things Everyone NEEDS to Know BEFORE Spending Money on Digital Transformation

(Number 5 could save you millions!)

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1. What digital transformation really means

Digital transformation is the integration and improvement of digital solutions within your business processes. That, in theory, could mean getting everyone to use calculators on their computer rather than physical calculators. However, in 2020 and with regards to financial markets there are several key points that underline what digital transformation means.

For starters, it includes a cultural shift amongst team members. In particular, improved speed to market can be achieved with DevOps, cloud technology, Agile methodologies, Microservices and continuous deployment, all key aspects in digital transformation. Migrating old platforms onto the cloud ensures their continued value, bringing past investments in line with modern requirements. In particular, today’s users expect personalized platforms built for them, digital transformation means changing the way you communicate with your customers, using digital channels and strategies to bring them the products, features and services they want.

2. How digital transformation is impacting channel strategies

Whether or not you’re implementing digital transformation, the way you talk to your clients is changing. They expect you to use the mediums they understand and connect with. Digital transformation will bring you closer to your users by enhancing the customer experience and giving you access to intuitive channels your customers enjoy using. From your user’s relationship to customer service, to their experience of your brand, to how transactions and services are processed, digital transformation provides channel strategies with greater speed, improved efficiency and more intuitive framework.

People want personalized solutions, products that work the way they do. New channel strategies and products are able to bring those unique experiences to consumers, enhancing brand loyalty and building products new customers can get excited about. The way channels are managed, built and the devices on which they’re used are very different today and will continue to evolve, effective channel strategies and tools are needed to keep financial institutions connected to their users.

3. What is DevOps, really?

DevOps is a set of tools, practices and cultural changes that combines development and operations with the goal of improving delivery time. In financial markets, DevOps takes agile methods and uses the cloud to deploy technology builds with greater speed and shorten the development lifecycle.

Constant deployment can be achieved using the DevOps method of continuous integration and continuous deployment. Using constant deployment ensures financial organizations get the very earliest possible benefits from technology builds, ensuring a rapid rate of return for technology spend.

Without DevOps and Agile methodologies, development lifecycles can take up to 3 years from inception, but with today’s innovation expectations, 3 years can mean clients aren’t getting the products they need to feel connected to your brand. With DevOps and Agile methodologies, rather than business analysts writing concepts up and having them reviewed and signed off for development, users write their user stories, saying exactly what they want and how software can enhance their current activities. Teams working in the same timezone can then develop those small features that fit into the user stories within a few weeks. By leveraging the cloud and microservices, segmented bits of code that are modifiable without affecting the rest of the system and code, changes can be deployed quickly, giving clients what they want, when want it.

4. Do I need to move to the cloud?

Yes. If not today, someday soon. It is essential that your core platforms are available on the cloud, and the recent pandemic is further evidence of this. Cloud based environments are far more easily available for remote or home-based teams, so your staff don’t need to be physically present, and never need to be onsite to run machines.

Beyond easily supporting remote access, cloud technology enables changes to be deployed remotely, keeping your systems updated to the highest level at any one time. Costs are typically reduced, and architecture can be scaled and descaled depending on your current situation. Cloud-based architectures support hands-free Financial Markets and are an essential first step towards digital transformation.

5. What can AI do for you?

Billions (and we mean billions, not millions) have been wasted on “AI” products. New trends that provide zero fiscal value or worse, just don’t work. Beyond chatbots, there are a few areas real artificial intelligence can provide incredible value. The main value AI provides is through predictions. To figure out where AI can provide value to your business BEFORE you spend millions, figure out where improved predictions can generate capital. For example, if a decision requires intense data analysis, AI might be able to improve the quality of that decision by analysing the large amounts of data and creating predictions on the outcome of each decision, giving your teams the ability to make genuinely informed, future-proof decisions.

6. How can digital transformation make you more competitive?

Being where your clients need you, in the way they need you will help create a tighter bond between you and your users, ensuring customer loyalty and opening your business up for a stronger market share. Beyond customer loyalty, reducing operational costs will ensure your business is able to innovate and create new revenue streams without affecting current budgets, giving you a competitive edge.

7. Will digital transformation make your operations more complicated?

If done properly, digital transformation should simplify, not complicate your operations. Being able to move applications on to the cloud will reduce the complexity of any connectivity challenges during times of remote work. Institutions will be responsible for policy, but the technical domain of access and security will become that of the Cloud provider. Using microservices ensures your team are able to modify parts of the systems your business uses without affecting the entire build, keeping things streamlined and preventing the need for costly and complicated updates and system rollouts.

8. How can digital transformation help your business grow?

Leveraging DevOps makes development cycles faster by changing the way development is done from inception to testing, giving clients new features only a few weeks after they’re devised. By making your time to market faster, you’re able to innovate and improve your products with greater speed, giving your clients what they want when they need it. The economy is reshaping, and digital transformation is an essential part of mitigating risks and creating new ways to attract market share by ensuring the continued loyalty of current customers and developing the products new customers want.

9. Will you need to throw away your old systems to make way for new ones?

No. Depending on your systems, it may be better to upgrade and tweak them rather than replace them. Many legacy platforms can be transformed into sound investments, ready for tomorrow, keeping past investments profitable and future-proof. This includes moving platforms like Findur, Calypso Platform or Murex onto the cloud, making them more scalable in the long-term and improving speed of delivery. Cloud migration also ensures legacy platforms can come into regulatory compliance quicker, be updated with ease and can reduce overheads.

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