Discovering Your Financial Services Competitive Superpower

Brent Sleeper
Sep. 12, 2018 by Brent Sleeper

During Facebook’s early years, Mark Zuckerberg famously told his team to “move fast and break things.” That attitude may have helped businesses with breakneck growth like Facebook and Uber make their mark, but few mature businesses have that luxury. Even Facebook has tempered its approach in recent years by embracing a new slogan: “Move fast with stable infra[structure].”

Yet for all its reckless bravado, it’s fundamentally true that experimentation, innovation, and skating to where the puck will be are essential qualities of companies that succeed and outperform their competitors. (And as long as we’re trafficking in cliched analogies, it turns out that there’s even some truth to the notion that several species of sharks, like the great white and mako, must keep moving or die.)

So, why then, do some businesses act as though the status quo is a safe bet? Perhaps it’s because rocking the boat comes with the risk of risking customer reputation, liability exposure, or regulatory concerns.

Financial Services Can’t Stand Still

Historically, the financial services industry has been slow to adopt new technology. Yet, even in an industry with justly stringent controls and a reputation for conservative decision-making, the “safest” choice can turn out to be the most dangerous of all.

Take, for instance, one common trope of old-school IT:

“Moving to the cloud is risky. Keeping everything in our data centers is the safest option.”

Is it really?

Digital transformation in financial services has made it increasingly easy for consumers to switch institutions at the least provocation. More and more, customer loyalty to financial products resembles the pattern we’ve seen in other digital goods and services: a great customer experience is essential. Flexibility to meet customers on their terms is a must-have. Focus on building differentiated apps and services, not operating infrastructure, is the path to success.

Real-World Lessons from Today’s Financial Services Cloud Leaders

Consider how businesses including Capital One, Guardian Life, and Goldman Sachs are embracing change and moving to the cloud. They’re creating great customer experiences—and fighting churn—by integrating email into their web and mobile banking, credit, and insurance apps.

What can other banks learn from these leaders? Our recent report, “Unleash Your Competitive Superpower,” shows how financial services innovators use email and the cloud to enable great customer experiences and outperform their competition. In it, you’ll discover what financial services technology and product teams need to know about email security, deliverability, and the cloud—and why getting it right is essential to building successful financial services apps and services.

If you’re part of a team dealing with these challenges, check out the report, then share your thoughts with us on Twitter. We’d love to hear your take and how you’ve used email and the cloud to develop your own competitive superpowers.

Brent

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