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From an industry perspective, it’s all too common to lump all things money-related into a single pool and call it FSI – or the Financial Services industry. But those working in this channel know all too well about the myriad differences – from subtle to substantial – between, say, banking and insurance, or between capital markets and credit cards. Yes, they all deal with money, but in very different ways that require significantly different technology solutions.
In today’s blogpost, we’re focusing on Investments and Capital Markets – as well as five global technology trends that have emerged in this sub-industry. We’ll also explore how businesses in this channel are benefitting from a partnership with PowerObjects and technology from the Microsoft stack, including PowerCapital – our Dynamics 365 Accelerator for Capital Markets firms. Enjoy!
New technology is emerging all the time. Some of it is gimmicky, some of it unnecessary, and some of it absolutely critical to remaining competitive. Terms like process automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and omnichannel, for example, have emerged as more than buzzwords. These are solutions that have staying power, so it is important for firms to be adopting them. A solution like PowerCapital, for example, incorporates many of these – it accelerates CRM implementations by leveraging the Microsoft technology stack: Dynamics 365, LinkedIn, Azure, Power Platform, and the Common Data Service.
Organizations that win in Capital Markets will be those that embrace, implement, and integrate these advanced technologies across the entirety of their business, from front-office functions like marketing, sales, and customer service to back-office functions like product development, finance, and talent. As you pursue new technology solutions, focus on those that are future-ready and have a track record for delivering measurable results.
In Capital markets especially, a strong foundation of data is essential for sustained success. If asset managers can’t trust that the data their firm avails them with is clean, factual, and collected and maintained within a provable governance structure, they are hamstrung. The ability to innovate and scale begins with an effective data strategy – a strategy that is based on delivering a complete end-to-end view of the data.
When organizations come upon business challenges they can’t solve, they naturally assume they need to begin collecting new sources of information. More often than not, this is a false conclusion. Instead, mine the data you already have – just surface it in different and more meaningful ways. A proven business intelligence tool, like Microsoft’s Power BI, is the key. Using pivot tables in Excel is old school because they tell only part of the story. You need dashboards that visually represent the entire story. Simply put, you need modernize your data architecture to be in a position of effectively managing your incoming data at the pace required to surface real-time, actionable insights that drive your business forward.
Across all industries – certainly including capital markets, the advent of ecommerce as an institution brought a slowly evolving shift in consumer behavior. As more information – and eventually more products and services – became available with only a few simple clicks, customer expectations began to escalate. To remain competitive in this environment, businesses must have technology infrastructures capable of meeting those customer demands. So, if you haven’t already, you need to evolve your business model to focus on the customer first.
Organizations are exploring new, next-generation, omni-channel CRM solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement and Power Virtual Agents to support their innovation and enable them to differentiate their services for all customer types where it matters most. The widespread popularity of social media and mobile provides opportunities to engage customers more frequently and more effectively by personalizing and contextualizing the messages they receive. Asset managers must foster deep, meaningful, and long-lasting client relationships to deliver the right product at the right to time to the right customer. More and more, enhanced competitive positioning will be fully reliant on strong relationships.
We mentioned earlier that across all industries, customer expectations are rising. In the old days, asset managers – those who manage their clients’ financial assets – thought they were immune. But the landscape has changed! User experiences in one area of consumers’ lives are affecting expectations in others, including investment services. And fierce competition in the crowded capital markets industry has led to small profit margins, meaning that consumers can – for the most part – expect to pay about the same regardless of who’s managing their money. And it has become so easy to switch from one investment group to the next that customers are defecting faster than ever before based on one poor experience. Given this, asset managers must focus on retaining customers by consistently delivering excellent client service. Navigating quickly and incorporating AI-suggested next best actions to further empower users is becoming more and more must-have in new cloud technologies.
And speaking of client retention, because the #1 cause of customer churn is dissatisfaction, which can happen from a single poor customer-service interaction, it is critical to invest in technology solutions that will ultimately provide each of your clients with greater convenience, faster speeds, improved accuracy, and more complete familiarity than your competitors are delivering. In fact, the asset management industry has largely already shifted from a one-size-fits-all model to one where firms create custom, personalized experiences for their end customers.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, customer expectations are on the rise. To remain competitive, FSI businesses are taking steps to become increasingly efficient and strategic with existing resources across every area of the organization – but they must be nimble!
Being able to adjust quickly and nimbly to what your employees (and your customers) are doing has emerged as a new key to success in capital markets. The old school business-as-usual approach – when it took six months, 10 resources, and 25 meetings to automate a single repetitive process – will no longer suffice. The expectation now is that firms are developing low-code apps and flows to simply get things done. It is critical to QUICKLY solve issues and eliminate steps to simplify processes.
With Microsoft Power Apps, businesses are unlocking true innovation. The visual approach to building apps empowers your teams to quickly turn their bright ideas into brilliant apps on a single end-to-end low-code platform. In addition, these low-code solutions enable you to automate manual processes and data collection to solve your most pressing problems.
The bottom line? With Power Apps, your teams will be designing highly customized task- and role-based applications in no time. As business needs emerge and evolve, you’ll be delivering solutions in lockstep. As it should be.
In recent years, the capital markets industry has shifted. We are seeing more rigid compliance and regulations, as well as emerging products that are significantly more complex. And delivering excellent customer service is no longer seen as a positive differentiator in the traditional sense – instead, it is just expected. Firms that can’t deliver may not be around in five or ten years. Emerging technology is the key to sustained success – if your organization is agile and nimble enough to be at the industry’s forefront.