Geoff is the Lead for Cisco’s Business Transformation solutions for the Financial Services Industry in Canada. To read Geoff’s full bio, please click Here.

This is the first in a series of blogs where I will discuss the capabilities that are driving innovation in the design and structure of retail financial services organizations. These capabilities shape where and how work is done, how resources are allocated and positioned, where geographic expansion  is executed, how customer points of presence are designed and staffed and how workplaces are configured. In sum, these capabilities offer new ways to engineer retail financial services organizations, the service delivery models that are critical to superior client experience and highly productive and cost-effective operations. Organizations that embrace and implement these capabilities will have a significant edge.

Imagine for a moment that you and your executive team are working to establish a new upstart financial services firm in a market with established competitors.

  1. How would you shape and structure your organization, operating model and service delivery system so that your retail bank, insurance and wealth management businesses can effectively compete with the established players?
  2. What would you offer that would drive superior, clearly differentiated level of satisfaction to the point where more clients move their assets to your firm?
  3. What factors would influence and guide your organizing model? Also, what capabilities would be essential to win market share, enable cost effective expansion and growth?
  4. What choices would you make in terms of how you allocate and locate your critical knowledge experts to drive the differentiated level of service and simultaneously achieve high productivity and the requisite level of profitability?
  5. What infrastructure assets would you decide to own and operate within your organization, and which would you choose to have outside and provided by others?
  6. Finally, how much time and focus would you and your executive team place on those assets and capabilities that make these advantages possible?

These are a few of the decisions and choices that would be paramount to you and your executive team. Why? Because these decisions and choices will influence the success of your enterprise.

For established financial services firms, these decision and choices will also determine their future success. New entrants have access to new capabilities, technologies and services that configure their business and operating model so that they are not only more agile, but cost effective and have the capabilities to deliver more value to clients more effectively, and at better cost / income ratios.

Consider this. What would it mean if your organization had the capability to:

  1. Provide the right expertise at all points of interaction with customers at any time?
  2. Tap the full range of expertise available anywhere in your organization at any time regardless of geographic location of that resource?
  3. Scale points of presence that service customers to fit the size of the community and book of business while still able to provide clients with any type of service should they require it?

I am sure that you will agree that this would be tremendously advantageous. It would increase the speed and agility of your operation, create higher levels of client satisfaction, enable significant leverage of resources and assets and facilitate rapid / cost effective growth.

The good news is that the capabilities required to make this all possible exist and are available to you today. The keystone is your organization’s digital business model and infrastructure.

However, it is important to consider that your existing business and operational model is anchored in a previous time when many of the digital capabilities did not exist and therefore were built within the limits of what was possible then. The key to harnessing these capabilities requires a shift in mindset. A tighter level of integration and orchestration of the business, workforce / human resource, IT, real estate planning processes, and increased executive focus on the choices being made in the areas of the organization’s design, technology and digital network infrastructure must be achieved. The time to for senior business leaders to act is now! Without change, your organization and business could be handicapped.

Throughout this series, I will further detail these organizational advantages and the capabilities now possible through interactive and digital technologies that enhance collaboration, enable work to be performed anywhere at any time and that provide new options for structuring how services are delivered to clients. Tom Caddoo similarly discussed this topic in his recent blog entitled, The Evolution of Immersive Video in the Retail Bank Branch. While the initial focus is on financial services, these factors and opportunities are also very applicable to other sectors such as education, retail, healthcare or public services. Indeed they are about organization and operating Innovation.


Geoffrey King

Business Development Manager

Business Transformation Solutions Group