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IT Spending: Top 8 Areas Where Banks Are Spending Their 2014 IT Budget

As we approach the second half of the year, banks are continuing to shift their IT and marketing budgets to focus on improving and differentiating the customer experience. Consumers are demanding more convenience from their banks, who are responding by expanding channel choices and offering differentiated services that attract these fickle clients. For existing clients, banks are investing in technologies to cross-sell, deepen relationships and reduce customer attrition as part of a larger customer journey initiative. I thought the insights provided by Penny Crosman in her December 2013 article, “Top 8 Ways Banks Will Spend Their 2014 IT Budgets” did a very nice job of highlighting how IT departments will invest to support these initiatives. I wanted to comment on a few of her points to add color with what I’m seeing. Read More »

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The Digital Renaissance Is Here. Is Your Company’s Culture Ready?

Sooner or later we all feel like throwing up our hands and cursing the complexity of modern life. But while technology may seem the chief culprit in making things unmanageable, it is also the ultimate solution to complexity.

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, it is particularly important for business leaders to understand the power of technology to simplify our lives and support JBradleySAPinformed decision making. And this was a core theme at Sapphire Now 2014, an event in Orlando, Fla., that I was privileged to attend last week.

By using network technology to integrate people, process, data, and things, IoE counters complexity in unprecedented ways. In a city, this can involve something as simple as cutting the time it takes to find a (connected) parking space. Or IoE technologies can scale up to reroute traffic lights; for example, to head-off highway backups before, during, and after a large event.

In a brick-and-mortar retail setting (a key area of discussion at Sapphire Now), IoE can alleviate the complexity of managing customers, staffing, and products. With data from multiple sources comes heightened, real-time awareness, empowering managers to react faster than ever. For example, they can then stock shelves and reorganize staff in response to constantly changing levels of demand. With predictive analytics they can even respond before a customer rush begins.

The idea of hyper-aware, real-time decision-making resonated during a Sapphire Now panel discussion titled Thrive in the Digital Networks of the New Economy. I was honored to share the panel with such luminaries as Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT; Michael Chui of McKinsey Global Institute; and Jai Shekhawat, Deepak Krishnamurthy, and Vivek Bapat of SAP. And there was much discussion on the impact of bad decisions on failed organizations. Which is why we all take such an interest in technology that enables good ones.

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Delivering More Personalized Customer Service

At Cisco Live, Hans Hwang, VP of Cisco Advanced Services spoke with Todd Walthall, Vice President, Digital Servicing Integration from American Express about how they are taking their customer service to the next level. By partnering with Cisco, American Express is piloting video chat capabilities in their American Express iPad application. With a push of a video icon button on an iPad, a video window appears, and a customer connects directly to a customer service representative to receive concierge service.

AmEx at Cisco Live 3c

Seeing this demo reminded me of a recent session I had the opportunity to attend where Rob Honts from Accenture presented on customer retention and loyalty, which is part of their annual Global Consumer Pulse Research survey. One of the key findings that Rob highlighted from the survey is that the number one reason customers stay with and switch their service provider is due to customer service. Not convenience. Not product.  Dare, I say it? Not brand. But customer service. Read More »

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Driving Serious Digital Disruption, with a Spirit of Fun

Not all workdays begin with a convoy of cyclists hailing from India, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and America. And fewer still wind up with creations made of LEGOs, spaghetti, string, and marshmallows.

Yet every workday — no matter how challenging — should have the same spirit of diversity, adventure, and assumption-busting repartee that I experienced at THNK — The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership.

Once our Cisco Consulting Services colleagues finished winding through the streets of central Amsterdam each morning, we got down to the serious business of “hacking” some key global issues, together with our friends at THNK.

THNK-NVilla

One of those issues has evolved into a Cisco/THNK partnership challenge, inwhich we will share Cisco’s expertise on the Internet of Everything (IoE) to solve some global problems around food safety and food distribution. I will speak more about the Internet of Food initiative in a subsequent blog.

Another key challenge was to foster digital disruption in the Internet of Everything (IoE) age — a time when our enterprise customers, and especially their end users, are demanding rapid transformation.

That level of change stems from the kind of open innovation and inclusive creative processes promoted by THNK in Amsterdam. Those processes are also being embraced by Cisco at our innovation hubs in such places as Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Songdo, South Korea. At these centers, IoE cornerstones such as cloud, mobility, Big Data analytics, and social media are already enabling digital disruption — and will continue to accelerate it.

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Understanding Your Customers – Cisco FSI’s Key Takeaways From Retail Banking 2014

We recently attended Retail Banking 2014 in Orlando, FL, where a wealth of information and best practices were shared, with much of the focus on how the banking industry is moving forward with the evolution of the customer experience. This year’s conference focused on the issues that bankers must deal with now and in the future:  revenue growth, branch optimization, digital banking, analytics, the evolution of social media, and of course, Omnichannel.

I have highlighted below a few of the key concepts and quotes from the speakers at the conference that you might find interesting. Read More »

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