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People, Processes, Technology the Keys to Digital Transformation Success in Financial Services

In a recent survey conducted by TeamDynamix in partnership with InformationWeek,  45 percent of financial services companies say they struggle with moderately low to very low ITSM maturity. In addition, 43 percent of those surveyed said their top challenge in ITSM is excessive manual processing or insufficient automation.

In fact, 60 percent of respondents said their IT teams spend 5 or more hours per week on repetitive manual tasks. And when you consider that 54 percent say they are using an ITSM platform that is five or more years old – the lack of automation isn’t surprising.

As more and more companies are pushing to modernize their legacy technology – automation is playing a big role. This is also reflected in the study, with 50 percent of respondents saying automation is their top IT objective.

Using automation to reduce the drain on IT resources and provide a better service experience is one of the key initiatives for digital transformation in the financial services industry. And to achieve success in this area, you need the right people, processes and technology in place.

Driving Digital Transformation Success with the Right Tools, Processes and People

“It’s a three-legged stool,” said Deborah Rojas, Chief Information Officer for Charter Oak Financial, referring to the tenets of a successful digital transformation. “You can’t really have any of those legs longer or shorter than the others. Balance is important.”

When Charter Oak replaced its aging ticketing system with TeamDynamix, Rojas and her team knew they were addressing the “technology” and “processes” legs of the stool. The team didn’t fully realize how much of an impact the software would have on the “people” component as well.

Sharing the view from her seat, Rojas said, “The financial services sector ultimately wants to be on the bleeding edge of technology. If you don’t have a good way of handling project management, hearing the voice of your customers, quickly resolving customer issues, and staying inside the regulatory box, I think you’re at a big disadvantage.” 

TeamDynamix became the solution for Charter Oak, offering automated workflows and seamless integrations with enterprise software. “TeamDynamix is allowing us to innovate more than we’ve been able to in the past,” she said.

Rojas leads practice optimization efforts for Charter Oak, and TeamDynamix has allowed employees to realize the vision suggested in this name by redesigning and streamlining key business practices, which has led to greater employee engagement.

“What I’m finding interesting is the staff engagement,” Rojas observed. “We’re able to focus on culture by engaging and igniting the team because we’re focused on leveling up our internal processes. As we redesign processes, we collaborate, we learn together.”

Improving the User Experience a Major Focus

With offices throughout the U.S., Charter Oak’s network of financial professionals helps clients with a variety of financial services.

“We’re lean and mean,” Rojas says. Her department supports the IT needs of 300+ financial professionals and nearly 200 other staff with only a handful of full-time employees.

With TeamDynamix, the practice optimization team has created a single point of contact for IT and other types of support: a “one-stop shop” for people to get help.

“We had a merger three years ago, and people are still trying to learn names, functions, and responsibilities,” Rojas says. “Seats changed, and responsibilities changed. So, we said, let’s just keep it simple and use one email address and one phone number. With that, we’re providing the simplest way that people can find an answer to their questions.”

Automated workflows help ensure that IT service tasks are completed in a timely manner, and Rojas and her team have full visibility into the status of service requests—as well as the data they need to measure the team’s effectiveness.

Besides improving the ticketing experience for users, Rojas’ team has also streamlined offboarding processes, and they’re now working on transforming onboarding and developing the knowledge base.

“When you think about bringing someone into an organization, there’s so much that needs to be done,” Rojas says. “We want to help that person feel welcomed into our organization, understand the entire platform and who to talk to. We need to think bigger and bolder and then have some consistent way to deliver that experience, and TeamDynamix lines up well for that.”

At Frontwave Credit Union they’ve adopted a digital-first strategy to deliver a heightened experience to all their members. Based in Oceanside, California, Frontwave has experienced a lot of growth over the last few years and that’s resulted in many competing priorities as the organization continues to scale. Because of this, there is a renewed focus on understanding process excellence.   

“We’ve dubbed this year the year of the process, and that’s where we are really focused,” explains Roger Estrada, Vice President of Process Excellence and the Program Management Office. “We are meeting this increased demand by restructuring what we do and how we do it by making our processes scalable, creating better escalation paths, providing self-service opportunities and prioritizing requests based on different criteria. But it all begins for us by really understanding our value stream and overall service flow.” Estrada and his team work cross-functionally with IT, Operations, Finance and many other groups to support the respective team’s initiatives.   

The process excellence initiative dovetails seamlessly with leadership’s digital-first vision.

When it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM), Estrada said the organization is hyper-focused on reviewing processes and ensuring there aren’t any non-value add steps that result in friction or a bad experience, “We want to make sure we’re properly set up to meet the needs and demands of our organization and our customers.”  

To do this, his team engages with the IT organization to help uncover any areas for improvement. With the organizational focus on digital-first, Estrada is tasked with finding opportunities to support this vision. The PMO team is doing this by listening to the voice of the process, gathering data and analyzing it critically to really see where improvements can be made.  

As an example, Estrada worked with IT leadership to identify areas where IT technicians were spending too many hours on manual work. “As we started evaluating our processes, we were seeing there are a lot of manual processes that cause a drain on our resources,” Estrada said. “We think we can get some positive results and benefits by introducing some automation.” 

“Many IT teams are loaded down with service tickets, so we wanted to look at our processes and see where there are opportunities to automate ticket resolution and find ways to improve our ease of service,” Estrada said. “The quicker and easier it is to resolve tickets, the better the experience is.” 

Digital Transformations Don’t Happen Overnight

Implementing new software can be challenging. “Everybody talks about digitization like it’s this fairy godmother who’s going to wave a wand and make everything better,” Rojas says. “That really doesn’t account for the learning that people need to go through, the struggle of understanding the ‘why’ behind the process change.”

Strong communication and change management processes have helped make this transition easier, and the TeamDynamix implementation process has also helped. Not only did Charter Oak have an implementation specialist to answer questions and offer advice, but the training sessions were also recorded and archived for viewing at any time.

“It’s almost like a movie you want to watch a couple of times,” Rojas says. “When I come back to some of the recordings to see if I’m thinking about the design elements correctly, I find the training videos are robust and meant to be enjoyed multiple times. You can learn so much each time you go back and look at the resources.”

Using TeamDynamix is enabling Charter Oak’s practice optimization team to reimagine key business processes and improve the user experience—which positions the company better for success.

“We have a lot of competing priorities so we really want to understand the team’s workflows and priorities so that we can continue to deliver the best customer experience,” Estrada said. “Our focus is really on improving our operational layer and looking to optimize with technology enhancements,” he said. “Our biggest focus is on delivering the best experience, products, and service to our members.” And TeamDynamix is there to support that.

Curious to learn more about the state of IT within financial services? Check out the latest market study: State of ITSM in Financial Services.