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Financial services can reduce costs through digital transformation

According The Reset: Accelerating the Business Value of Technology in Financial Services report, finance organizations can leverage the true value that modern technology platforms can deliver in three critical ways: start with the customer and keep an eye on value, develop workers, and foster transparency with leadership. Here’s how.

Start with the customer and keep an eye on the value

Gayan Benedict is CTO and Vice President of Client Consulting, Australia and New Zealand for Salesforce

Dr. Gayan Benedict is CTO and Vice President of Client Consulting, Australia and New Zealand for Salesforce.

Our research shows that many finance organizations that embark on a transformation lose sight of the end goal during delivery and then fail to realize the end value. Why? Because organizations need an approach to technology that combines long-term strategic planning with value creation from day one.

One way to deliver value incrementally throughout execution over time, rather than at the end of the investment, is to adopt a use case-based approach to technology investment.

This means focusing on a specific outcome goal for a client or employee and extending them cumulatively over time.

For example, providing a personalized onboarding experience for banking customers can help increase efficiency while having a direct impact on customer satisfaction and higher conversion rates.

This approach has significant benefits: better control of investments and costs, the ability to pivot and accelerate work based on market changes, and an increased connection between strategy and execution. The Reset report found that organizations that implement a use case-driven approach can get to market twice as fast, reduce development costs by 50%, and double the value, compared to organizations that don’t not.

Improve worker skills and create a culture of continuous learning

The success of digital transformations requires developing basic technological knowledge throughout the organization. A lack of understanding of the capabilities and functionality that a platform provides out of the box often leads to investments that provide little value. And in the worst case, the purchase of technology that is not suitable for use.

One way to address the technology skills gap internally is to foster an organizational culture of continuous learning and leverage external training and learning content. Trailhead, for example, is a free online learning platform and community that democratizes knowledge and education, creating an equal and accessible path to the Salesforce ecosystem.

Our research has shown that putting technology in the hands of business units will make teams more productive and speed innovation delivery times.

Prioritize organizational change and foster transparency with leadership

Technology is often only part of the solution – the non-technical aspects, such as policies, skills development and redesigning operations, are a much larger component (typically around 70% according to BCG). Organizational change is needed to integrate and capture the value of technology.

Support must come from the top for change to be implemented effectively and for true organizational adoption. BCG research has shown that working closely with leaders can increase the chances of successfully deploying a technology innovation. Early and frequent interactions with leaders foster transparency, trust and, most importantly, buy-in.

The time for faster and more efficient value creation has come

During times of disruption, the companies that continuously adapt to change the fastest are the ones that will thrive. Technology will remain essential for businesses to achieve growth and meet customer expectations, but successful implementations now depend on increasing business value faster, whether by focusing on user outcomes, improving skills of employees or by guaranteeing management buy-in.

Although we cannot predict the future, organizations can be strategic and build resilience. They must rethink their approach to value creation at all levels and in all functions.

Dr. Gayan Benedict is CTO and Vice President of Client Consulting, Australia and New Zealand for Salesforce and former CIO of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

To read the full report, visit Salesforce