A core component of financial service companies is information technology (IT), which can support businesses with their digital needs. IT interactions can be complex. When a change happens on one system, it must be reflected elsewhere, whether it’s a money transfer, investment tracking, or a user account accessed remotely. With nearly 15 billion mobile devices worldwide as of 2021, accessibility and convenience have become integral for financial service companies. Not only do clients use mobile applications, but on-demand accessibility can also speed up processes for employees.
In addition to the increased mobile device usage, the adoption of digital technology has also been rising. Virtual payment methods, remote meetings, and online financial services have become more widely used. Digital assets are also growing in value, with 45% of financial service executives expecting them to have an important role in the future. The financial industry has become fast-changing as innovations continue to be made, making IT essential to staying competitive. With the support of IT specialists, financial service companies can improve their offerings, productivity, and staff utilization through better technology usage.
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What Are Financial IT Services?
Financial IT services cover a broad spectrum of tech-related needs for financial service companies. That includes financing software, website usage, mobile apps, data management, payment processing, network security, hardware upgrades, and more. Nearly every type of software and hardware used involves an IT staff member for maintenance, upgrades, and status tracking. Since the financial industry constantly adapts to meet local and global changes, forward-planning is also part of IT services.
Why Is IT Important for Financial Service Companies?
IT can benefit financial service companies in a variety of ways. The infrastructure is commonly built within a tech stack, where most elements can interact and communicate with each other through shared compatibility. For example, a user request on a mobile app will also show up across other internal systems. Depending on the type of request, it may be handled automatically or flagged for manual service, where an employee will address it. Whether done with automation or manually, that information is stored and viewable across all connected devices.
While IT is essential for financial productivity and the customer experience, it also impacts less apparent areas like cybersecurity. Most companies already use physical security measures, such as keeping office buildings and databases locked, but that doesn’t always help with cyber threats. With the support of an IT team, a mixture of solid cybersecurity and threat monitoring tools can help the digital side be just as safe. Using a tech stack can further centralize virtual functions, making them easier to monitor and protect.
How Can Companies Use Financial IT Services to Improve Productivity?
For financial organizations, productivity and the end-user experience are often connected. The easier it is for customers to submit inquiries digitally, the simpler it is for employees to do their job. That is where financial IT services come into the picture. Since information can be submitted and interacted with online by clients and staff alike, a well-designed IT infrastructure can improve the process for everyone involved.
There are many daily tasks that financial employees have, which can include steps that could be quickened or bypassed with automation. Over 30% of work activities can be automated for 3 out of 5 jobs. With that said, companies cannot wholly replace many types of jobs with automation. Instead, it’s designed to improve the efficiency of a business’s IT infrastructure by augmenting the staff’s capabilities and handling simpler tasks.
Depending on the financial service, IT infrastructure, and the number of users, the daily needs of customers and staff alike are often variable. Some days may be slow, while others may be overwhelming. Causes are sometimes predictable, like holidays, paydays, or local events. Other factors are trickier, like weather, where more people might run errands simultaneously. IT systems with adaptable capacity are less likely to waste resources on slow days, while they can scale up with large user counts when needed.
Using cloud services can not only improve efficiency but can also save money when properly utilized. In a survey by Microsoft, 82% of small businesses have reduced their costs by using cloud technology. Much of the savings come through no longer needing to maintain an independent data center, alongside better resource utilization. Different functions interconnected through the cloud also allow easier automation and analytics.
Financial service companies often have many IT needs, projects, and goals. Future growth and anticipated changes can be just as crucial as day-to-day functions. Since IT staff and funding are limited, aligning long-term goals with current needs allows businesses to focus their resources in high-importance areas. By using goal prioritization, IT improvements can happen more quickly and effectively.
The better the end-user experience, the less reliant customers are on communicating with a live person. People can do routine tasks like password resets or financial requests through online software and mobile applications. Straightforward helpdesk tasks can be handled by a chatbot or run through a question screening process. That increases the chance that a client’s issue is solved without needing to be passed over to a live agent.
Cybersecurity threats are one of the most significant concerns with financial IT services. That is because financial companies often access and store sensitive customer data. With cybercrime projected to cost USD 10.5 trillion globally by 2025, this is a major concern, especially for larger financial service companies. A data breach is expensive and can cause significant damage, setbacks, and long-lasting reductions in productivity.
Networks commonly have variances in traffic and user needs. Time of day is a noticeable factor, as customers and employees alike are less likely to use network-reliant services during off-hours. Many networks are designed statically. While they can handle large traffic flows, they’re built to have that capacity 24/7, leading to unused bandwidth. Network optimization allows financial service companies to define network variables, allowing the capacity to adapt to current needs. As a result, it creates savings through less capacity wastage.
Due to the nature of the finances, staffing can often include a mixture of in-house, outsourcing, and offshoring to minimize operating costs. Other types of third-party vendors may also be involved. However, maintaining an in-house IT staff can be inefficient. IT outsourcing companies aim to offer a compromise. They provide experienced on-demand staff without needing to hire a full-time IT team. When an incident happens, they’ll be available. When things go smoothly, the staff is still on call but isn’t creating unnecessary expenses.
Like many businesses, IT is crucial to the financial industry. 30% of companies report a major increase in productivity by making IT improvements. That number is almost double for those who add cloud services. Financial IT services can boost productivity in various ways, whether it’s a technology like cloud storage, network optimization, or routine task automation. It can reduce the burden on staff, allowing them to work more efficiently while improving the customer experience.
Financial service companies have specialized priorities and customer needs, which can differ greatly from a standard business. A robust IT foundation is necessary to handle vital financial data intertwined with the services provided. Providers like ITonDemand can support financial service companies in many ways. That includes project assessments, overhauling IT infrastructure, insight into new technologies, and guidance on improving workflow. With the support of an IT company, financial service companies can boost their productivity in many ways.