Making omni-channel a reality – part 6: An ongoing strategy

LEarn why omni-channel efforts must be a constantly ongoing activity

Over my last few blogs, I’ve discussed some of the key factors and challenges that banks need to consider when they’re embarking on an omni-channel strategy. Such an approach offers a huge number of opportunities for retail banks, but in order to succeed, they must contend with a wide range of issues, from managing the change in business culture that will be necessary, to harnessing the large volumes of data available.

But even if businesses succeed in getting to grips with all these various factors, they can’t afford to rest on their laurels. In today’s fast-moving environment, banks need to make sure they have a long-term, ongoing strategy for their omni-channel to ensure the solutions they put in place now are fit for the future.

Technology marches on – will you?

As my omni-channel whitepaper makes clear, such is the pace of change and evolution in the banking technology sector that what is seen as cutting-edge today will be treated as a bare minimum in just a few short years.

In fact, in three to five years’ time, many of the core elements of an omni-channel strategy I discuss in the paper and my recent blogs will be regarded as the baseline for any effective business.

In the not-too-distant future, retail banks will be undergoing a very different type of digital transformation, driven by technologies such as artificial intelligence and real-time decision-making capabilities. But they will still need to ensure omni-channel solutions are at the heart of what they do.

“AI can improve customer personalization, identify patterns and connections that humans can’t, and answer questions about banking issues in real-time. Financial institutions are already finding success with AI. However, what may be ‘amazing’ today will be table stakes in the near future.” [The Financial Brand]

Defining a strategy that works for you

To make omni-channel a success, it’s important to take a step back and consider all the elements I’ve written about recently in a holistic manner and develop a clear strategy for transforming your bank’s distribution network.

This must be aligned to your retail strategy to ensure that everyone is in sync on key hotspots, challenges and opportunities. As part of this, it’s essential to define specific Key Performance Indicators before starting any transformation journey, in order to ensure that everyone throughout the business understands what the baseline and target operating models are. This also enables your organization to accurately measure your level of success and continuous alignment with the retail strategy.  

It’s also important to recognize that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to developing an effective omni-channel strategy, and similarly, there’s no one ‘silver bullet’ that will transform a bank’s capabilities. Therefore, it’s vital that every bank is able to evaluate what works and which factors may be less relevant to their own environment, in order to develop a strategy that focuses on the right areas and delivers maximum value.

“Leading up to 2020, radically transformed bank models will emerge. A glimpse ahead shows an emphasis on innovative technologies to vastly facilitate banking – inclusive banking through new types of bank models, non-traditional alliances to make banking affordable, Fintech capabilities to make banking customer-centric. Banking in the future will be collaborative, exciting and will raise the bar in setting new standards.

Consolidation in the industry is therefore, inevitable. The Deloitte Point of View following on from here, touches upon the growth route of Mergers & Acquisitions, a Banking model in the form of Payment Banks and Innovation in Banking that is technology oriented – Cognitive Technology & Artificial Intelligence, Block chain Technology, Robotics Process Automation, Fintech and of course Cyber Security.” [Banking on the Future: Vision 2020 – Deloitte]

Written by Aamir Janjua

Aamir Janjua

Aamir is NCR's Global Business Transformation Leader in financial services domain, supporting customers across the globe to optimise and transform their business to achieve desired business outcomes. He has 20 years’ experience in business and IT change management, business consulting and transformation covering banking, financial services, manufacturing and government verticals. He provides thought leadership and proactively share ideas and learnings from various global engagements via white papers and blogs to support successful transformation of the financial services industry into the digital era.

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