January 4 by Heather Ryan
The Federal Reserve recently raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time since the financial crisis, a sure sign that they believe the economy – and our financial institutions – have stabilized.
Now that the financial organizations that survived the 2008 subprime meltdown have gotten their heads above water, they find themselves at a cross roads, facing yet another fundamental restructuring of their industry. Driven by dramatic shifts in demographics, disruptive technology, and increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, the landscape of the financial services industry is reforming at an exponential rate.
3 Reasons Why Financial Institutions Must Digitalize
Shifting consumer demands
The behavior and expectations of an emerging generation of self-directed, self-made customers – comprised largely of millennials, now the largest population segment in the U.S. – is driving banks, insurance, mortgage, and real estate providers to reconsider their digital modernization agendas. Termed “Generation Now,” millennials and other sophisticated consumers, demand greater flexibility, fee transparency, mobile-enabled self-service options, and the convenience of anytime, anywhere multi-channel interaction.
Traditionally conservative regarding change, the
current processes and systems for the majority of financial
institutions are not adequately optimized or responsive to new
breed customer expectations.
Tech savvy startups pose a major threat
Financial services providers now face greater competition than ever before from powerful new entrants. Positioned to be major disruptors, non-traditional players offer pay-as-you-go flexibility and refreshingly intuitive, user-friendly experiences. Financial technology (“fintech”) startups are already savvy at leveraging mobile, analytics and the IoT, and are
delivering greater convenience, often at a lower prices.
Metromile, for example, offers usage-based auto insurance, while
WealthFront offers a subset of self-directed emerging affluent
the option to bypass physical presence and associated management fees. While fintechs will not completely replace traditional channels anytime soon, a recent study commissioned by Goldman Sachs estimated that the finance industry stands to lose nearly $500 billion in profit to technologically disruptive entrants.
Disconnected core systems
With largely modified and patched IT infrastructure, most financial services companies lack the flexibility to meet the requirements of the digital era. Home grown legacy systems – systems that do not interoperate and result in poor customer experience and the inability to run reports or draw meaningful business insights – need to be replaced with a collaborative, cloud-based platform in order to meet regulatory and consumer demands.
A recent CFO Research survey conducted by SAP confirms that financial services executives understand that it’s time to disrupt or be disrupted, and that digitalization of the finance world is a necessity.
• 89% of survey respondents agree that, over the next five years, their companies’ success will increasingly depend on their ability to adapt to the rapid pace of change.
• For 84% of respondents, success will also mean being
able to translate the flow of data into swift and decisive action.
• 78% of respondents believe that their companies’ success
will depend on having instantaneous access to a “single version
of the truth”—a fully up-to-date set of financial and performance data.
• 80% say that their companies must develop or acquire advanced analytics tools and methods to better predict outcomes, assess risk, model complex business scenarios, and support management decision making.
Despite the dire consequences of failing to modernize, a surprising amount of financial institutions do not have a digital roadmap in place. This readiness gap presents a major opportunity for organizations to separate themselves from the pack by shedding manual, paper-based systems inhibiting real innovation and institute the tools they need to scale. For the unprepared, digitalization can seem daunting, but with the right tools, financial services companies can deliver value in new ways, gain millennial market share, and compete with
Increasingly, banks, mortgage brokers, insurance carriers and real estate investment trusts have turned to Apttus to transform internal operations, connect core processes, and optimize interactions with customers. The world’s leading financial institutions are choosing Apttus’ Quote-to-Cash for Financial Services as the sustainable solution they need to meet compliance and organizational objectives and Salesforce1 as the platform of choice for enabling novel market strategies, while increasing cost-effectiveness, speed and flexibility.
Three financial services giants in particular have harnessed the disruptive power of Apttus’ digital technology to differentiate themselves and thrive in the new landscape.
3 Financial Services Companies Who’ve Digitally Transformed
1. A leading insurance provider enabled straight through paperless processing via automation, with a focus on creating a single view of the customer. For one leading U.S.-based financial institution, the right solution was to shed a home grown legacy system and replace it with Apttus’ cloud-based infrastructure, in order to streamline the sales process and increase speed to market for delivering proposals. Under their existing proposal creation workflow, three teams collaborated over three days to generate a quote and create a proposal, during which their prospect solicited and received other quotes. Recognizing the competitive advantage of being the first to deliver accurate proposals, they centralized, automated and connected their disparate teams and pricing and proposal processes on one collaborative platform with Apttus CPQ. Without a single line of code or IT support, the company reduced quoting time from days to minutes, and doubled the amount of proposals being delivered to customers.
2. Moving away from fixed, coded processes, a major financial institution introduces a flexible model that releases new products and updates quickly. As new product lines were added to the business, another major financial institution became mired in its own complexity. Their Excel-based pricing and proposal systems caused critical delays and confusion among channel partners. No longer willing to be held back by their patch-work in-house system, they modernized their outdated quoting process, gained a unified
view of the customer and a single source
of truth for their massive, complex product catalogue with
Apttus CPQ. The company has broken down silos and centralized
pricing information, ensuring their external sales team always
receives up to date pricing information. Having moved away from a fixed, coded process, new products are rapidly introduced, and changes are live within the hour. They now have the flexible infrastructure they need to enable an iterative business model and a superior digital experience.
3. A leading financial services provider constructs a scalable and intelligent Quote-to-Cash environment that delivers across devices. Apttus enabled another major financial institution to restructure their entire sales team and dramatically scale the organization. Following a rebrand, and building on the cloud-based investment already made in Salesforce, the financial organization partnered with Apttus to continue their digital evolution with an eye towards gaining competitive edge by making radical gains in operating efficiency. Post-implementation of
Apttus’ CPQ, Deal Maximizer and X-Author products, they
evolved from a dedicated back office team to a self-service
model, reallocating headcount from 6 sales operations staff down to 1. Automating their processes enabled them to extend their global footprint, increasing their capacity by 2/3, while consolidating 6 disparate systems down to 1, eliminating the 2-3 day lead time previously required for proposals, and reducing touch time from 2 hours to 15 minutes. Remote sales reps now create dynamic proposals in a live environment, working from one common system integrating opportunity and quoting processes.
Earlier this year, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, in an annual letter to stakeholders, wrote “Silicon Valley is coming.” We say, Apttus is already here, helping financial institutions reach the future desired state.