The Financial Services industry is undergoing a significant transformation due to changes in the competitive environment, technology and customer dynamics. These new levers are pushing Financial Institutions to change and adapt in a context where it is imperative that Customers be moved to the centre stage of operations.
To share its vision on Digital Transformation for the Financial Services industry, Celfocus partnered with Finovate to present a podcast aimed at discussing the intelligent use of data and the importance of tailored experiences, as well as of overcoming barriers left by legacy systems.
Listen to the podcast hosted by Greg Palmer, VP at Finovate, here.
Aiming to take a closer look on the topic and go through Celfocus’ approach on how to unlock digital adoption, Henrique Cravo, Digital Lead for Financial Services at Celfocus, and Carlos Domingos, Digital Channels & Integration Lead at Celfocus, were speakers at the live webinar on October 30th , hosted by David Penn, Research Analyst at Finovate.
Watch the webinar on-demand here.
Digital Transformation can include a wide range of definitions, therefore, Henrique started by explaining what it means for Celfocus: “For us, a Digital Transformation is focused on Customer Augmentation and Activation. We seek to provide a meaning to the huge amount of data that is spread across organisations and transforming it into information and actionable assets that unlock financial services business”.
Furthermore, he stated that “the most common obstacles are technology, data quality and lots of organisational constraints, because, although the data is there, transforming it into actionable information and triggering its value, is a huge task”, as per his experience.
Legacy systems evolved focused on processual or business needs, rather than on the customer. “Today, banks have an extensive product portfolio and are facing a market competition towards customer personalisation, but their legacy systems are not keeping the pace because they are not evolving at the same speed and direction” considers Henrique, highlighting the importance of customer knowledge insights and their quick activation to enrich customer experience.
Therefore, Celfocus’ approach is composed by 3 main blocks:
- How to extract customer value by applying Customer Value Augmentation mechanisms;
- How to tailor business experiences based on customer value by creating an Enhanced Customer Experience;
- How to enable those business experiences on complex IT environments by incorporating and integrating the two on the existing IT landscape and with the existing legacy systems.
Keeping up with legacy systems
According to Henrique, although every legacy landscape has its own features, which represent an obstacle for the integration, the good news is that “there are several strategies to overcome the existing legacy debt, handle its complexity and adopt the digital advantages”. “Our approach is to start by applying the new digital solutions on a complementary approach, enriching the existing systems with the new digital functions and not just land there, forcing a huge technological transformation. We all know that «big bang» approaches represent business risk, budget commitment and a complex stakeholder management that involves lot of politics. We prefer to use a phased and incremental transformation approach”, Henrique added.
To support organisations on transforming their systems and way of work toward a more flexible and agile methodology to adopt new market trends, while keeping their core strengths, Celfocus uses a complementary approach to the existing legacy systems divided in two major solution blocks – Customer Value Augmentation and Customer Experience enhancement through Activation –, bearing in mind customer centricity, tailored experiences and customised business portfolios.
Unlocking digital adoption
Celfocus’ approach to address digital implementation was presented by Carlos Domingos “currently our Clients are strongly motivated to go on a transformation journey, because their business stakeholders are pushing for more and more product or customer requirements, speed and, on top of all that, a constant adaptation to regulatory obligations that will not wait for IT readiness.” There are “big concerns on the best way to perform a technological transformation or simply offload the legacy systems from functions not related with core business. To tackle that, we are applying the Digital Overlay approach (…) to create a layer decoupling backend and core systems from the digital platforms”, Carlos added.
This phased approach permits leveraging “IT systems into the new paradigms of flexibility, fast delivery, co-creation and cost optimisation. In a nutshell, it allows achieving the goal of combining both Legacy Core Systems and the new digital solutions that will enrich a technological environment”. As Carlos stated, “we achieve this with the implementation of the Digital Overlay Architecture, which overcomes the technology debt by abstracting legacy complexity and then on an incremental approach, moving functions into the new Digital paradigm.” “We created an architecture approach where a new layer sits on top of the existing legacy systems – the Digital Overlay”, he concluded.
Learn more about Celfocus Digital Overlay Architecture here.
In a nutshell, four main conclusions were presented:
- Customer knowledge augmentation & activation is achieved by leveraging data insights and a multi-experience approach, enabling end-to-end control of the customer experience;
- Celfocus’ approach to Digital Transformation is focused on providing meaning to the available data, activating customer insights and business value;
- Scalability is critical for Digital adoption. Cognitive & Machine Learning are key to handle volume, activating customer profiling and systems automation;
- Legacy systems are not a blocker for Digital enablement. Celfocus’ Digital Overlay approach solves legacy dependencies, simplifying the adoption of new technologies.