Synechron

Tackling Mobility Challenge in BFSI Industry

By: Anil Awasti, Global Head – Retail Banking Practice, Virtusa Corporation

Millennials are predicted to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, and with baby boomers retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, the trend of catering to generation Y’s working practices is only likely to increase. Considering the massive emerging trends in the future of the workforce, organizations are gearing up towards equipping themselves with tools and technologies that can enable their employees to work from any place, access servers time from any device for their work. Emerging technologies have enabled the organizations to redefine their strategies and deliver business goals effectively. Mobility and digitization have become the key enablers for the BFSI industry, and they help reduce the operational costs, process faster transactions, rollout personalized offers and products and attract new customers.

Prior to 2007-08, the device-level security in BFSI companies was confined largely to desktops, laptops, peripherals and removable storage devices. They followed strict compliances and strong administrative control over user devices, but enterprise mobility changed everything. With the massive adoption of iOS and Android devices, BFSI workforce started demanding more and more freedom at the workplace and beyond.

BFSI companies follow a series of data protection and privacy compliances. The Reserve Bank of India has laid out a Cyber Security Framework that Indian banks have to adhere to. It has issued detailed guidelines on IT governance, security, and cyber fraud. Similarly, insurers and stock brokers (and mutual funds) must comply with the guidelines issued by IRDA and SEBI, respectively.

In the backdrop of these changes, some companies tried retaining control by introducing BYOD variants such as Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) and Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) device policies. And many invested in tools such as mobile device management (MDM) etc. These approaches were met with limited success as the users refused to give up control over their personal devices to their IT administrations.

While BYOD became an irreversible trend, BFSI companies felt a rising competitive pressure to adopt mobility. They needed to build user-friendly apps to deliver services to internal users as well as customers. A mobile app, however, is all about providing convenience and power to users.

At another level, BFSI firms have been the biggest spenders of IT for several years. That implies many of these companies have legacy systems in places, such as core banking, insurance policy administration, trading platforms, CRM, and sales force automation. In the context of mobile apps, this poses data integration and legacy transformation challenges.

From the usage perspective, real-time information delivery is a critical requirement that apps must fulfil in this sector. For instance, agents and customers in the equity trading segment need features such as Portfolio Tracker on their fingertips. Similarly, eKYC, fund transfer, insurance product purchase, investment, and trading, are some of the other key mobile app services that BFSI firms need to deliver—without glitches, delays, or privacy breach issues.

Lukewarm user adoption of apps is another serious challenge which BFSI companies face. Typically, user adoption is high during the initial phase when companies launch their first set of apps. It rapidly wanes with every next app-launch as users do not perceive concrete value in downloading every app. Users also face app discovery challenge when the organization launches multiple apps, further leading to a drop-in adoption. As a result, heavy investments made by the BFSI firms in building, promoting and maintaining apps appear threatened to be wasted.

If a firm employs multiple combinations of technologies such as microservices, micro frontend architecture, and app refactoring along with a container-based approach, it can achieve many additional benefits such as legacy transformation, simplified backend integration, speedy app development, testing, and rollout.

Going forward, as more and more organizations embrace these new digital technologies, impacts can be seen in improved operational efficiencies, profitability, and enhanced customer service. But many BFSI organizations are yet to adopt and deliver business objectives by leveraging the true power of advanced technologies in enabling the next-gen mobility experience. A well-planned digital strategy in all facets of workforce management and technology integration makes an organization well-equipped to address dynamic market pressures in the rapidly evolving industry. It offers an opportunity to reduce overall cost, improve customer experience, productivity, ease the IT burden of deployment and set organizations aside from the competition.

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