Q: What has been your experience on partnering with outside firms? How do you decide when and who, and how you balance that with internal teams?
Great question. Outside firms are critical with any transformation program that you begin. You can draw insights from their experience in the industry and they can help you define and refine your transformation roadmap. We have had good experience working with firms to help create customer communication packages, including visualizations, and mapping out the benefits to clients as well as determine ways to collaborate across the process. Another great way to use an outside party is to validate your roadmap both at the beginning as well as incrementally along the way. It creates checks and balances to make sure that you are ready along the way and you’re not going to have any bumps. Outside parties can also supplement staff to do research, business process mapping, and create business visualization and professional visualizations, as well as help execute on implementation.
Q: What do you see as the biggest digital transformation opportunities facing the financial services industry right now?
I have heard, and I continue to hear, that digitization is one of the highest priorities for most firms across the industry. That’s important because you do want everybody having budgets and engagement throughout the process. Because no one firm is truly digitized 100%. There’s always going to be room for improvements. Getting the proper data flows from front middle to back, could continue to drive improvements along the way. As technology changes, it’s important for organizations to stay updated and manage the risk of full digitization.
T+1 settlement has created a great opportunity for digitization and will help all firms get a true end to end interaction. I think large custodians and clearing firms are in pretty good shape, but there are still areas to improve and further digitize. As an example, there are still paper contracts out there in the real estate and the loan space, which could be further digitized. However, with artificial intelligence, robotics and other new technologies, there will be more opportunities to drive additional digitization and optimization. Regulatory events like T+1 really help you manage your budget and make sure that you use that budget to force that digitization within your organization. It’s an opportunity to spend the money wisely and to get that end-to-end digitization that the industry truly would love to have