Hybrid IT: enhancing customer experience

Mike Foster
By , - Enabling DigitalFinancial Services

In 2017, keeping up with customer demands is harder than ever.

The market is becoming increasingly crowded, and this makes it difficult to inspire loyalty in your customers.

This trend is particularly evident in the banking and insurance sectors, where more and more customers are switching to emerging challenger firms – which have the advantage of being innovative and convenient.

Inflated customer demands

As smaller, newer digital players enter the already-crowded market, incumbent financial organisations have to prove that they too can deliver innovative products and services.

At the same time, rapid digitisation is driving elevated expectations from customers.

We now expect that services will be constantly available, as well as being delivered using real-time insights and across multiple integrated channels.

Facing up to these demands is no small task, but one way to do it is through the adoption and implementation of a hybrid IT solution, a balance of both cloud and legacy technology.

Hybrid IT can help improve the customer experience in three fundamental ways:

  1. Integrating new and old systems

One of the challenges facing traditional and often very large financial organisations is that of bringing outdated legacy – or heritage – systems up to date in order to work in conjunction with new applications and deliver a different type of service.

Hybrid IT offers the agility to enable these heritage systems to quickly and easily integrate with new digital assets and resources.

For example, a hybrid solution allows the integration of newer means of data capture and delivery through sensors and location-based data, in order to deliver a more personalised customer service.

Because it operates through a cloud-based platform, it also enables the use of other digital technologies such as video or virtual reality.

  1. New value chains

The second benefit of a hybrid solution is that it allows these heritage systems to quickly integrate with newer value chains – like those made available by open banking.

Open banking is an initiative which requires banks to share more customer information than ever before, via application programming interfaces (APIs).

This means that APIs and hybrid IT more generally can enable you to use your competitors’ data as your own asset.

APIs can also add to the customer experience in other ways.

For example, if a customer is booking an airline ticket through a website, a hybrid solution can facilitate that same customer to be sold a highly personalised travel insurance product in the same transaction, through an integrated airline booking app.

  1. Improved response times

Finally, a hybrid system helps stabilise the performance of any application being used by the customer.

This means that, when it comes to customer service, response times are consistent and the likelihood of outages is significantly reduced.

In the future

There’s no question that, looking to the future, customer experience will only become a more important differentiator.

As the marketplace becomes more crowded, businesses must find new ways to stand out.

As more activities involved in value creation are becoming automated – with increasing use of artificial intelligence for instance – more products and services are becoming commoditised.

Customers, therefore, will make their buying choices based on the experiences they receive.

This will mean more products and services will be personalised, delivered at significantly greater speed, with new and improved functionality – assets which, with the right implementation, can all be facilitated through hybrid IT.

If you’d be interested in learning more about how a hybrid solution could benefit your organisation’s customer service, visit our Hybrid IT web page.

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