In a time when customers are weathering ongoing storms, the last place they need additional uncertainty is with their financial institutions and partners.
With seemingly everyone running at endless opportunities, three hurdles must be cleared to win the race that matters: long-term relevance to customers. These hurdles will trip up the most ambitious plans, allowing competitors to encroach on market share. If the proper investments are made, clearing these hurdles will allow financial institutions to realize these opportunities in stride.
Financial Institutions are particularly familiar with precautionary measures during challenging times - but what about seizing the opportunity to accelerate while others are on the sideline?
The first hurdle to clear in 2023 is the mountain of technical debt within legacy code stacks and platforms.
Formed by the shifting tectonic plates of enterprise prioritization, institutional stress from the pandemic, and employee turnover, even the most agile teams are under duress and incurring additional technical debt.
Every time a release date is brought forward, team size is reduced, the scope is shifted, a legacy system becomes old enough to apply to colleges and rent cars, and the mountain of tech debt grows. The core driver? When it is known and understood that there is a better path forward for the product, but instead, the team is asked to finish painting the set while the curtain rises on another demo or release. Debt piles up every time a team does not refactor old data sets, does not upgrade code libraries, does not rationalize their API’s, fails to finish the CI/CD pipeline, does not deploy a cohesive data strategy, or even something as innocuous as shipping a story because the ‘quick and dirty’ solution will work. Still, it will also take a 30% performance hit in the process - all these small, seemingly innocuous compromises pile up until it is the core operations of the business that find themselves compromised by an outage.
Ask any technologist within the organization, and they will share specific stories of how technical debt has slowed progress, limited innovation, and put the business at risk of core systems taking down operations. Failing to address these limitations by making specific investments in addressing them will cause banks to tip-toe around technical tripwires rather than accelerating to the opportunities that await like their more agile competitors who manage their ‘debt’ responsibly.
The learnings and methods that drove growth in the past stand against progress as the second hurdle.
To avoid the pitfalls of legacy thinking, substantive process changes must be embraced. The world changed, and yesterday’s learnings and methods will not fuel the next leg of the journey. Everything from how initiatives are funded, to how teams are structured, to the impact they drive, needs to be looked at differently and critically in 2023. By embracing more efficient operational structures, costs can be reduced for operations and reallocated to more compelling customer experiences. Clarity of process means understanding both the operational and technical implications of solutions, designing future systems to optimize for ease of operations, and adapting to new technologies. If your teams struggle to ship meaningful products, it might be time to get back into training, work with a coach, and try new strategies.
Driving and maintaining internal alignment presents as the third and most challenging hurdle.
The organization is fatigued, the last mile is the longest, and clearing the last two hurdles came with costs of their own. Successful organizations need to define the clarity of purpose, with the customer’s success as the driver and providing the resources to help them realize their goal.
Organizations with clarity of purpose, aligned priorities, outcomes they’re trying to achieve together, and the appropriate investment to achieve them will instead find themselves strides ahead of their competition. Their less successful competition will be caught up by multiple divisions solving the same problems in silos, everyone deciding their individual mission in the absence of clear goals, and products being worked on for weeks, months, or even years, but never seeing the light of day. Successful organizations know that having good shared metrics, KPIs, roadmaps, accountability, and empowerment to deliver are key to running through the finish line. At the same time, the competition is caught with their shoelaces untied.
The time to act is now. If you are an organization struggling with one or more of these hurdles, we can help. Schedule a free consultation today to accelerate your journey, getting ahead and staying ahead of the competition in 2023.