Last year, 43% of global consumers claimed the pandemic had changed the way they bank, and many financial services organisations navigated
these changes by accelerating their digital transformation. Now, customers have the option of returning to their local branches for the services they prefer to access in-person, while continuing to adhere to their new digital habits for day-to-day transactions.
However, new challenges have emerged in 2022, with rising inflation and the deepening cost of living crisis driving uncertainty for both consumers and businesses. Financial services providers naturally have a crucial role to play in helping their customers
to navigate these challenges.
New challenges, same goal
Once again, digital transformation holds the key, enabling first-movers to adapt to changing market conditions and support their customers in new ways. Despite growing uncertainty, what remains clear is the need to continue to innovate, albeit sometimes
with more cautious spending. This is about more than survival. It’s about creating exceptional digital banking and insurance experiences across channels, while becoming a more nimble, agile, and resilient financial institution.
The best way to enable this is to look at how the skills that already exist within the business can be fully unlocked, to accelerate innovation without increasing the cost.That means breaking down the silos between IT and business teams and equipping them
with the tools to empower business technologists – employees from the wider organisation, who can compose new digital banking, investment and insurance services from reusable “building blocks”. With an ever-changing financial landscape, this composable enterprise
model may ultimately define the winners and losers of the post-pandemic era.
IT-Business alignment – a new way forward?
Many financial services organisations are already welcoming this new era of the business technologist. Four out of five technologists now actually sit outside of the traditional
IT department. For financial services organisations, IT-business alignment has improved in the majority (89%) of firms over the last 12 months, according to MuleSoft’s IT and Business
Alignment Barometer. These individuals bring together tech skills with business know-how to propel digital initiatives without needing IT’s support. They’re using simple, intuitive, and highly automated tools to integrate systems, unify data and deliver
connected and frictionless banking and insurance experiences – all without having to write a single line of code.
Closer IT and business alignment has already enabled improved collaboration, operational efficiency, and customer experiences in many organisations. IT departments that support business technologists in this way are
2.6 times more likely to accelerate digital transformation and become genuine industry disruptors. There’s a large pool of talent waiting to be empowered in this way, and financial institutions must act accordingly in order to remain competitive.
Business technologists can do anything from automating manual data entry tasks, to creating new digital banking services for customers across channels. They can also establish greater collaboration between banks and other service providers across industries,
to create an open collaborative ecosystem. With the right tools and talent, the use cases for business technologists are limitless.
Banking on a brighter future
So how do financial services organisations unlock all of this latent talent and release the power of their business technologists? One of the most effective solutions is to take an API-led approach, to expose data and digital capabilities in a consumable
and reusable manner. This is the first step towards creating a composable enterprise, where business technologists are able to build new digital banking and insurance products using existing components. It’s fast, effective, and will help finance firms to
adapt quickly to meet rapidly evolving and surging customer demand.
Automated low/no code tools are also key to this approach, enabling non-IT users to simply drag-and-drop building block components to create new capabilities. This takes the pressure off skilled developer teams already swamped with work and struggling to
“keep the lights on”. Some 86% of organisations agree that if business users could securely create their own connected experiences using low or no code, it would improve business
Of course, this does not eliminate the need for IT involvement. IT departments will still have to drive best practices and mitigate security and governance concerns, which are regularly cited as the number one challenge when creating integrated user experiences.
IT has a key role to play in overcoming these barriers by implementing centralised API tooling that makes governance and security manageable at scale. Cultural shifts will begin to take place in many financial services organisations as they learn to take more
of a fintech-like approach to innovation enabled by these capabilities. However, when reusable APIs are harnessed effectively by business technologists, the results are spectacular. This won’t happen overnight, but with the promise of a brighter future of
fast-paced digital banking transformation ahead, there are plenty of reasons not to delay taking the first steps.