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Will Digital Collaboration Grow the Banking Business?

By Guillermo Kopp, Worldwide Financial Services Industry Director, Microsoft on March 6, 2017

Filed under Financial Services - Banking & Capital Markets

Innovation by Fintech companies is disrupting the financial services landscape, and many traditional banks are responding with Digital Transformation initiatives. Banks are also exploring the fantastic potential of blockchain technologies to simplify business operations and reduce financial risks.

Many forward-minded banks are realizing that old habits undermine the adoption of new digital business models. Such changes must navigate functional and product silos, overcome business-as-usual inertia and internal resistance, and ensure compliance with regulatory mandates.

Could banks institutionalize transformation by decree? Might a creative cloud application clear all hurdles across the bank’s organization? Or should an inspiring CEO lead the change to digital?

To be effective, banks should first look at transformation with the eyes of their customers. In the digital age, customers are becoming increasingly volatile and expect instant response at any time. A digital bank should dismantle internal barriers and grow into a more agile and responsive organization.

Most customer-related tasks require the participation of several functional areas within the bank. The complexity of internal interactions can grow exponentially depending on the number bank employees involved.  A computational formula for possible interactions between any two individuals within a group is: (n*(n-1))/2, where “n” represents the number of participants. For example, 10 employees could interact with each other as up to 45 different pairs.

Combined interactions between subgroups would expand the possibilities. In such context, the ability to instill frictionless digital collaboration between bank employees will significantly improve customer effectiveness.

Empowering bank personnel to work collaboratively and learn from each other will produce additional benefits. Integrated videoconferencing and document sharing bring people together. Besides the intrinsic gains in their multiple one-to-one and subgroup interactions, digital interconnection will motivate employees to coalesce as cohesive virtual teams across diverse functional areas. In turn, every virtual team may create new business value through more dynamic performance, ingenuity, and combined specialization. Spontaneous team rotations and reconfigurations should also help in breaking up established functional and hierarchical barriers. Such learning culture will nurture adaptive and interchangeable skills to boost agility and resilience in the bank.

Therefore, a comprehensive digital collaboration platform will unleash the collective might of virtual teams, as they converge swiftly to fulfill the tasks at hand. In the aggregate, the business value created by digital interactions between bank employees and virtual task teams can be impressive. Banks should capitalize on the pervasive power of digital collaboration applied to cross-functional business scenarios.

Read more on the Microsoft Banking & Capital Markets and Insurance blogs.

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