ATM machines were among the first ever digital advances in financial service institutions. Source: Shutterstock

ATM machines were among the first ever digital advances in financial service institutions. Source: Shutterstock

Why financial services firms cannot wait on digital upgrades any longer

CUSTOMERS are always looking for financial services that are faster, seamless, and accessible beyond traditional operating hours.

Bankers need to meet customers’ demands in order to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive digital world, and although they seem to be embracing digitization, there is an evident lag in their pace — particularly in developing new service applications.

This is especially true for long-established institutions that might have been quick adopters once upon a time, but are “slow upgraders”.

Organizations in the industry should not think that existing infrastructures and systems are sufficient because they are still doing their “job” — they need to realize that digital upgrades are necessary as most legacy systems cannot be remodeled to fit newer, more complicated applications.

Outdated systems cannot meet customer expectations and will not only bring down margins but also drive away customers.

Financial institutions also need to remember that upgrading the organization’s digital infrastructure will save costs, increase relevancy, strengthen infrastructures, and draw in more customers, while also providing more flexibility to the business.

The best readily-available, flexible, and cost-efficient solution is to migrate existing applications in hybrid-cloud environments — and create new applications to support customers.

Deploying a hybrid-cloud solution gives institutions the option to run operations on-premise while also relying on managed services that can tailor to the system’s needs.

Aside from being an agile, scalable, and highly responsive solution, moving to a hybrid cloud allows financial services companies to operate as usual without worrying about disruptions in workflows and processes.

To ensure a seamless digital upgrade, institutions must first make sure to structure and launch new applications on the cloud instead of relying on legacy systems. This would allow experimentation of new features without disrupting critical, pre-existing applications.

During this process, it is important to create the necessary application program interfaces (APIs) to guarantee a sound software system. This is particularly important to ensure the development of an open, practical system.

Once this is accomplished, new applications can be launched and existing ones can be moved to the cloud.

Organizations must also keep in mind that they must choose the right data management system when using existing applications with new ones. New solutions are undoubtedly flexible, but existing applications were not built on the same grounds.

Institutions, especially in the banking and financial services space know that they should not upgrade very quickly. Slow and steady does win the race, especially as regulators insist on ensuring data privacy and overall infrastructure and network security.