Jade Software Fri, Oct 16, '20 10 min read

What version of 2021 are you investing in for your customers?

Recent research from ADAPT revealed that only 45% of businesses were able to successfully manage their supply chain and order fulfilment as COVID-19 made its presence widely felt. Interestingly, the same research highlighted that 62% of businesses were able to successfully deliver on customer service, experience, and satisfaction. While this disparity showed it is possible to maintain relationships even when a business can’t properly deliver on its products or services, it surely is a matter of time before customers start looking to meet their needs or wants elsewhere. With second waves of COVID-19 well underway and the possibilities of third and fourth waves in the coming months or years, now is the best time to invest in getting ahead of the curve.

Beginning 2021 at different parts of the transformation journey

Whether through one of the big consultancies or an incumbent software partner, most organisations have invested in some form of strategy to become digitally different. Where many businesses become unstuck is translating that strategy into a sustained programme of work and desired results. This can become painful when disruption hits because they have outlaid capital to combat such circumstances, but they’re in no shape or form to handle it. This is where the need for speed arises.

A year of progress:
Speeding up the implementation of your cloud modernisation programme

We strongly believe accelerating your cloud modernisation programme (digital transformation by another name) is one of the best investments your business will make a material difference to what kind of 2021 you and your customers will have. 

Once transformation strategy and change management components have been addressed, it’s understandable that many businesses executives see red at the lack of progress. This may be commonplace, but it doesn’t mean it is good enough. Actioning a transformation strategy is the first step in being able to adapt to disruption faster and continually deliver the level of experience that customers expect.

Trusted technology suppliers with extensive expertise in the financial services sector can help to derisk programmes of work in highly regulated environments by using their knowledge and experience to break them up into effective, attainable projects. This approach not only provides a golden opportunity to begin realising value sooner, but it also gives room to adapt to any regulatory changes or movement in the market environment.

A year of less friction:
Modernising applications to enable smoother transitions

Rather than starting from scratch, modernising existing applications using AWS and/or Azure infrastructure can make a ten-fold improvement to the quality and rate at which these programmes are implemented. As this approach augments existing technology with new platforms or systems (rather than complete overhauls), the learning curve is typically lower. As a result, organisations create digitally different operating models that enable employees and customers to get up to speed with the enhanced way of working faster.

When Jade’s New Zealand offices were forced into working from home, the finance team needed to process their monthly accounts completely digitally. While they had already invested in and had the ability to do this 100% online, there were still using some paper-based processes. Thankfully, the investment the team had made for its future meant that their transition to working from home was much smoother. Now they are back in the office they are continuing their 100% digital approach.

A year of breathing easy:
Rapidly testing leading digital experiences

Investing in innovative digital platforms can be difficult for those in the financial services sector, even when the benefits are clear and measurable. Innovation is typically associated with a high level of perceived risk and uncertainty, which many organisations find too uncomfortable. However, skilled technology suppliers can provide executives with the confidence needed to greenlight safe and secure digital experiences that keep customers engaged and satisfied.

Rapid prototyping is a tool for helping businesses quickly see what a digital experience might look like plus get initial validation from various internal and external stakeholders. Further user experience design methodology then helps to clarify and simplify the project’s design and scope, significantly increasing the likelihood of success. This process reveals initial results in days or weeks, which helps executive sponsors produce business cases that practically write themselves.

Importantly, organisations can cost-effectively build platforms that enable innovation (being first to deliver digital experiences that none of your customers are offering) without impacting core business systems. And this brings us to our final point.

A year of scale:
Optimising a technology roadmap for future growth

Investing in a better tomorrow for customers means choosing the right blend of technology, architecture, cloud infrastructure, and processes as a foundation for sustainable growth. The effect of getting the right blend is two-fold. Firstly, it brings substantial cost savings and efficiencies to a business’ operations. Secondly, it generates greater momentum for growth as these realised savings mean unused resources can be reinvested into additional projects that deliver further to value the customer.

Other factors that can significantly boost an organisation’s future growth include the decentralisation of data, adoption of leading DevOps practices, and leaning on the specific benefits of the various cloud providers. Each of these are worthy topics in themselves.

The implications of the next steps you take

Tomorrow’s business is won today. Likewise, success realised today is because of the investment you made in your organisation yesterday. In context, businesses who had previously committed to evolving their operations into a digital-first state were in a far better position to handle the global disruption that was COVID-19.

While we have no idea what 2021 might throw at us, we do know that if we invest in modernising applications, we will be far better placed to tackle tomorrow’s challenges. We embrace this challenge and are ready to help, which leaves us with one last question for you…

What version of 2021 are you investing in for your customers?

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