Keeping up with the “pace of change”: How to stay competitive in an ever-changing market 

Matt Dokelman
March 18, 2022
March 14, 2022
Insights

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, most financial services businesses successfully evolved to meet the new requirements of a changed market.

What is notable about this is the sheer pace at which they underwent this transformation. Indeed, with Covid encouraging many client businesses to move online and individual customers becoming more and more accustomed to accessing their providers via an app, expectations and preferences have changed, and the sector has had to adapt quickly.

The shift in customer expectations which took place over the course of the pandemic came against the backdrop of a booming housing market. At this time, lenders were in large part fighting to keep up with demand, diversifying products and accelerating the pace of change to retain a competitive edge. In some cases, products were being launched on a weekly basis, to enable more self-service for customers.

For some, the transition has been easy – and these businesses are flourishing as they continue to meet customer expectations. Others, however, are struggling. Without the tools to facilitate the operational and transformational changes to meet demands, they risk being locked out of the market.

The key to accelerating change

In order to keep up with the pace of change, there is no golden ticket to what success looks like. Instead, it’s an evolving list of factors that lenders need to bear in mind.  

From our work across the industry, we’ve observed two angles of attack by the most successful clients who have focused on:  

  1. Having the control and capability to make “everyday” type changes (e.g. changing a product and documentation) and to know that they are making best use of their solution (e.g. to optimise throughput)
  1. Having the right transformational approach that enables their business to make a step change (e.g. to launch new product lines)

We’ll bring to life (1) in this article.

We’ve seen those clients that had a good understanding of their tech platforms and the ability to make simple changes for themselves adapt more quickly to the changing needs of the market. Businesses must bridge this divide by investing in recruitment to build a team of individuals that have a combination of both business and technical skills. Alongside this, businesses need to develop a good understanding of the platform with the skills to undertake any ‘business as usual’ changes in-house, such as changing key document text to launching a new product variant.  

As businesses become more aware of their digital capabilities, they can mobilise quickly and are empowered to make day-to-day changes themselves. This not only creates a more nimble and agile organisation but frees up time for innovation in other key areas of the business, such as customer retention.  

After many of our clients developed their platform knowledge, the volume of requests to deliver minor changes reduced (which could be self-served) and requests to configure new capabilities grew from 25% to 70%. These businesses had increased their own self-serve capability in order to create space to focus on innovation and develop new products for a competitive edge.  

In the last two years, firms have learnt that they can move faster and further than they initially imagined, normalising a high pace of change within organisations today. Going forward, businesses must embed the lessons from their period of transformation and raise the technical skills of team members in order to remain competitive. Retaining this degree of agility will help them navigate disruptions and continue to capitalise on new technologies. Reach out to our team to learn about the changes you can make to your business right now.  

To find out more about empowering your business to self-serve and how your business can increase its operational resilience, sign up to the upcoming finova Summit here.

20 years’ experience in the Banking and the Wealth Sector