The time to modernise IT systems in the financial sector is now – an interview with Michał Kaleta
Why is the modernisation of IT systems so crucial in the current market landscape? How can it help financial companies gain a competitive advantage, reduce costs, make their process more effective and future-proof? We’ve asked our Director of Financial Services, Michał Kaleta, to share his insights on this topic.
What is the current situation in the financial sector and what are the technological challenges that Spyrosoft’s clients have to face?
Given the current global situation, many sectors, especially the financial sector, should be making strides in the direction of business digitalisation. The pandemic, during which the agencies of various banks were closed, proved that to us. It turned out that some organisations were not ready to serve customers electronically with the same experience as before the lockdown.
Many companies already know how important it is to move as many processes as possible to digital channels. They have the data and experience, so the only thing left to do is leverage that knowledge and modernise certain processes and tools to reap the benefits.
With users eager to use electronic channels, several new opportunities are opening up for companies, including cross-selling and up-selling, to generate value for the business. What’s more, some of the processes organisations can automate or move to digital channels, reducing the cost of handling these processes.
There are also many tools on the market that streamline and simplify daily operations. Companies can use these solutions instead of reinventing the wheel for every problem. It is not surprising that organisations, regardless of industry, are now betting heavily on digitalisation, and the financial sector is no exception.
Why should companies in the financial sector make system modernisation one of their top priorities? What benefits does it give them?
Nowadays, customers are less likely to go to bank agencies in person and are increasingly opting for electronic channels, such as online banking services or mobile applications. Thus, if an app or service does not meet users’ expectations, they are inclined to change financial service providers.
Currently, financial services companies’ offers are similar to each other. It is challenging to compete today by offering customers free accounts or lower and lower interest rates for loans. However, certain things have changed, and today what matters to users is the pleasure and ease of using electronic channels to carry out everyday operations, such as making a payment, sending a transfer or using bank services for other areas of their life.
Banks have to fight for the user to remain their customer. Looking more broadly at banking and the financial industry, one can see how important this aspect is today. There are new players on the market, Fintech types, introducing very modern solutions that allow users to perform daily operations pleasantly. Organisations that have been on the market for several years and have more experience have to compete with new players for their customers so that they want to continue using their services.
Companies in the financial industry must also keep up with modern technologies. New technologies generate additional value for the business. A perfect example are AI-based data analysis and processing tools that help in risk assessment, decision making or even fraud detection. Machine learning engines analyse huge amounts of data from various sources, looking for patterns or abnormalities. These insights can be then leveraged, for example, to predict a customer’s cash flow, which allows for more accurate credit scoring. We at Spyrosoft want to actively support organisations in implementing modern solutions and help them use the benefits of new technology effectively.
Of course, the new solutions are also more powerful, and emerging systems often take more advantage of the potential of these new tools because they have more computing power. From a technology perspective, this is also important because it helps companies optimise costs.
Moreover, some processes that have worked or are working in financial organisations can easily be automated and happen without human involvement, reducing the cost of implementing such procedures. Companies can redirect the savings generated towards so important innovation and optimisation of different processes. A lot of decisions can now be made automatically based on data, that companies have..
A perfect example is chatbots, which perform a repetitive part of customer service work. Specific processes require minimal user interaction, based on which banks and financial companies, having elemental data at their disposal, can also quickly make business decisions, such as granting credit.
Last but not least, automation is a solution that bridges the gap between the lack of resources in IT and the demand for quick adjustment to changes in the financial sector. Automating processes and tools allows us to react quickly to unexpected economic circumstances, new policies or regulations without the need to engage IT specialists.
How can Spyrosoft help clients modernise their systems?
We distinguish several areas in which we can support our clients. The most significant advantage of our company is that we provide services for the entire software lifecycle. Therefore, we can help the client in many areas comprehensively.
Above all, we want our clients’ infrastructure to be as efficient and scalable as possible. There is no doubt that the use of physical infrastructure involves specific expenses. Each machine generates costs that must be declared and incurred.
In the case of scalable cloud infrastructure, organisations can monitor these costs and scale only to the size they need. That allows them to optimise their expenses effectively. The more modern the infrastructure, the more scalable, tailored, and beneficial.
It is also worth mentioning that companies can automate their modern infrastructure. At Spyrosoft, we build our clients’ infrastructure so businesses can scale quickly and automatically. We are talking about fast replicating environments and responding to crises. For example, in the event of a military conflict, if infrastructure provisioning is automated, we can replicate the entire infrastructure very quickly to a completely different place in the world or switch to spare infrastructure using a disaster recovery setup. That provides companies with additional resilience to crises.
Another area in which we support our clients is design. As I mentioned at the beginning, users are currently more demanding and more willing to move away from companies only because they are not satisfied with the usability of the systems. In other words, companies lose customers due to the lack of attractive and comfortable electronic communication tools.
When undertaking cooperation in this area, we start with designing products from the business side. We want the designed web system or mobile application to respond to the company’s business needs and, at the same time, to be visually and functionally as user-friendly as possible. That is, of course, all assuming the implementation of business processes and their optimisation because it is impossible to talk about system modernisation from the UX side without optimisation.
Let’s focus on UX optimisation for a moment. There is enormous potential in this. Today, users use the same applications through various devices: smartphones, computers, smartwatches, or even multimedia kiosks. Appropriately designing the software allows you to prepare a version for each device and each form of presentation. Thus, the company can use multiple channels to acquire or retain customers.
At Spyrosoft, we also support our clients in terms of accessibility. Implementing new tools that facilitate access to systems for users who cannot fully use the capabilities of standard applications is vital. There is no doubt that these users should also have access to all functions and be able to use the full capabilities of the application.
Data modelling & Business intelligence
Another area in which Spyrosoft supports its clients is broadly understood data. Data allows companies to make significant business decisions as long as they can collect, process, and draw appropriate conclusions. Financial companies collect a lot of data. Unfortunately, most of them do not know how to use all this data or do not take full advantage of it.
The data is sometimes dispersed throughout the company’s ecosystem or isn’t reflected in the entire process. As a result, firms do not know where in the process they obtain what kind of data and what happens with it next. It is very crucial to store data in a structured way and manage this data to be used in the right prosesses later. Fortunately, many business intelligence tools on the market currently support data collection and visualisation. Helping companies to build an effective way of storing data and implementing necessary tools is one of our focus areas.
Process optimisation and automation
For the procedures to be effective, companies must optimise them for even better results. Typically, these processes require the involvement of IT departments. That is a necessary step towards optimisation, but like each subsequent stage, it extends the entire undertaking. Sometimes the optimisation or change of a process takes so long that its business value changes, and its implementation in such a way doesn’t make sense anymore.
Automation is necessary for a business to effectively and dynamically adapt its operations to the current situation, which reduces the involvement of IT departments to the required minimum. All industries have learned from this over the past few years. We know that business realities can change quickly and dramatically. To be able to react promptly to such a situation, it is necessary to be able to introduce dynamic changes toward optimisation.
Automation also allows organisations to adapt to market needs and thus optimise the costs. Organisations can use many tools that support such processes, and we, as Spyrosoft, are not afraid to use such tools. We use them because we know they bring value to the client, and we help obtain this value, among others, by implementing ready-made tools or even low-code platforms for specific processes.
Cybersecurity is another important aspect. Companies also need modernisation in this area to stay up to date. Threats and cybercriminals’ tools are changing, and new vulnerabilities appear now and then. Infrastructure that is not updated or modernised cannot protect against these vulnerabilities and new types of threats.
However, cybersecurity goes far beyond the infrastructure and covers all processes in a given company. In this regard, new threats and methods of attacks are also emerging, as well as new tools that make such attacks possible. Thanks to cybersecurity solutions that monitor the situation on an ongoing basis, we can modernise how the entire organisation operates in terms of security, not only in terms of infrastructure or a specific application itself.
Agile process implementation
Finally, it is also worth saying a few words about the agile approach, which is more and more often implemented in organisational processes. Today it is practically impossible to talk about product development without a modern agile approach. It is an area we can effectively modernise in terms of how companies approach work on products or implement new functionalities to their products. That is an area where trends should be undeniably followed.
New technologies and tools adaptation
Summing up the considerations about modern technologies, we should note that the most important in this area is that all the tools that appear on the market are designed to facilitate the conduct of their activities by organisations. Spyrosoft specialists can help companies choose such tools, make an assessment of such solutions and coordinate their implementation. Examples of such tools could be even DevOps tools and low-code platforms which now make application development much more accessible and reduce the cost of their product.
We’ll help you adjust your system to the current market needs
Visit our financial services page for more information or contact Michał Kaleta via the form below.
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Get in touch.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES
tel: +48 517 944 920