Working practices changed radically in 2020 – remote or hybrid working has not only become the ‘new norm’ but it looks set to be the dominant model in many organizations for the foreseeable future. In fact, 42% of all IT decision-makers and 38% of business decision-makers in the financial services sector believe that half (50%) of their workforce will remain hybrid post-pandemic, according to Riverbed’s ‘Hybrid Work Global Survey 2021’.
We’ve already seen many major commercial and retail banks commit to permanent hybrid set-ups. Following a survey where 77% of its employees said they wanted to work from home three or more days a week, Lloyds Banking Group has embraced hybrid working. Last year, the bank also announced that it would reduce its office space by a fifth (20%) over the next few years. Similarly, Deutsche Bank is implementing a hybrid working model that enables staff to work remotely if they choose to do so.
While the workforce has become accustomed to the convenience and flexibility of remote working, hybrid working comes with its own set of challenges. Even before the pandemic, the industry was under increasing pressure from customers to deliver greater speed, convenience and personalization by embracing digital innovation. Those that relied on legacy systems had to completely restructure their services to cater for rapidly evolving customer needs.
Today, legacy IT systems no longer meet the needs of modern financial service organizations. IT leaders have had to quickly accelerate their digital transformation efforts, while reassessing their workplace investments, resources and priorities to ensure they meet future hybrid working needs. CIOs have had to adapt, putting the right technology solutions in place.
The cloud is perhaps one of the most popular solutions for the financial sector when pursuing innovation with financial institutions. Thanks to their ability to deploy and scale up rapidly, reduce internal costs and improve data management, many were already using cloud-based solutions for business processes such as customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR) and financial accounting. And this trend looks set to grow exponentially; according to ‘The Future of Cloud in Banking’ report, the majority of retail and commercial banks aim to triple their use of cloud services by 2025, and migrate more client-facing applications and data.
For CIOs, it’s also essential to understand the value of all technology investments. Financial management tools are vital in enabling business leaders to make smart financial decisions for new ways of working. They not only allow organizations to make fact-based decisions around IT spend based on informed scenario planning, but they also free up liquidity that can then be invested in new digital initiatives.
Hybrid working is revolutionizing the world of work and the reality is it’s here to stay. By leveraging technology that facilitates this, financial services can put human relationships and customer experience at the center of a digital strategy.