Empowering Financial Services Space with Technology

Isaac Sacolick, CIO/CTO, Greenwitch Associates
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Role of Technology in Financial Services

Technology has to take an active role transforming the business. In financial services and especially in banking, this is likely a digital transformation where most of the business is already happening through digital and mobile channels. Financial institutions need to align customer experience, big data, digital marketing and other programs to better service digitally oriented customers, to nurture higher value services, and to become automated and efficient internally.

We’re undergoing this type of transformation at Greenwich Associates. Our primary deliverable is a set of new business intelligence tools and practices that enable Greenwich Associate consultants to analyze our primary research more efficiently, identify client specific insights, and focus their client relationships on delivering advisory services off these insights.

Challenges: Working with the organization to become more data driven, adopt “agile” practices, and to take on the challenges of learning new technologies is a priority for transformation programs. Technology vendors need to understand that they must have capabilities to enable the entire user base – from later adopters that need simple user interfaces and embedded help functions to more advanced users that need to develop platform expertise efficiently. I recently wrote a post on this for CRM and BI SaaS platform vendors.

​  Technology solution vendors need to better measure customer usage and align with the CIOs who have to gain more traction in their enterprise 

Technology Trends Impacting Financial Services Business Environment

I think the biggest trend is developing the data driven organization. Sometimes this gets wrapped up in a discussion around big data and data science programs which are critical for enterprises to enable the organization to leverage data and analytics. But ultimately, these programs need to help the end user in the enterprise, sometimes by providing them the data and analytics to influence their day to day decisions, other times by giving them the tools, access to data, and knowledge to perform their own analytics.

Advice to Vendors Providing Technology Solutions to Financial services

Technology solution vendors need to better measure customer usage and align with the CIOs who have to gain more traction in their enterprise. Vendors have done a great job simplifying the user interfaces and experience versus the enterprise tools of a decade ago, but the experience becomes more complicate when enterprises plug in their data requirements, workflows, hierarchies, and roles. The end result is that the tool and process looks overly complicated to the end user and adoption suffers.

Vendors need to make it easier for end users to tailor the experience for themselves. For example, maybe the enterprise needs twenty data fields on a CRM account, but chances are end users only need to work with a small subset of them. Does the CRM make it easy for end users of little technical capability to simplify the experience by them?

Advice to CIOs

My advice to CIOs is to embrace agile practices and culture. Industries are transforming, business needs are changing, the competitive landscape is getting more complex and all of this is driving demand for technology driven solutions. CIOs need mature agile practices so that a competitive edge is developed through experimentation, capturing feedback and then reconsidering how to evolve solutions.

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