If you’ve worked in the financial industry for any length of time, you know what a transformative effect the digital revolution has had on regional and super-regional banks. Approximately 70% of senior banking executives report that partnering with financial technologies to innovate their services is an important opportunity for their organization. (Which makes us wonder, what are the other 30% thinking?)
But with so many options available to expand your firm’s value prop, how do you know which tech partnership is right for you?
The key is to understand your bank’s unique needs. What tech are you currently using and how could that be improved? How do you prioritize different issues with your applications, or know when to implement a total change of pace?
You can assess your bank’s most important tech needs with a thorough analysis, communicating with your employees, and generating valuable consumer insights by asking for their feedback.
Ready to start? Here’s where to begin.
Start with SWOT
You want to take a comprehensive look at your bank’s tech to see what’s working and find any flaws, and the best way to assess your bank’s technology needs is to do a SWOT analysis of your firm.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
The SWOT analysis model is a list-making tool you can use to explore your tech’s strengths and weaknesses. With four steps, this model prompts you to challenge your assumptions and reveal influences that may not have been immediately obvious. Created in the 1960’s by Albert Humphrey, the model was intended to aid in business strategy. Today, it is employed across several industries to identify potential improvements.
The SWOT Model
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
It’s recommended that you create your four lists in a table or grid to more easily visualize and move between the sections, like this:
Make Your Lists, Check Them Twice
The first list in the SWOT process is to identify your tech’s strengths, or what sets you apart from the competition—in simple terms, what is your tech’s value prop?
Here are some questions to get you started on your bank’s “strengths” list:
- What do you do well?
- What unique resources can you draw on?
- What do others see as your strengths?
Some of the items on this list might include a strong customer service team or a solid CRM.
Now that you have a good sense of what your tech is doing well, it’s time to find your weaknesses. Take a detailed look at what’s holding back your bank from being the very best organization it could be, especially in regards to your technology.
Ask the important questions: where are you lacking resources? What do competitors see as your greatest weaknesses?
Your “opportunities” section should list any external factors that could be used to your advantage. This is a chance to brainstorm ways to amplify your strengths while shrinking those weaknesses.
Maybe your bank’s opportunities include leveraging new software to improve customer communication or finding the right tech partnership to revamp your customer’s digital experience. Explore all the possibilities available to you.
Threats include anything that’s holding your organization back. Are rising fixed costs causing a dent in your tech stack budget? Security breaches are rising across all industries—how well is your bank protected?
This list differs from your “weaknesses” list in that it asks you to consider external factors beyond your control. What is your competition doing? What threats do your weaknesses expose you to?
Consider how your “threats” list could inspire more problem-solving opportunities for your team.
Ask Your Employees
When assessing your tech needs, it’s important to ask your people. After all, they’re working directly with your current technology and customers and can offer a valuable perspective on what’s working and what’s not.
Invite your employees to give honest feedback. Some key questions to ask should include:
- What frustrates them?
- What technology do they enjoy using?
- What do they need that would help them become more successful in their jobs?
Go directly to the people who will be most impacted by any tech you’re considering adding. You’ll benefit from their feedback, and they’ll appreciate having a voice in your decision.
Communicate with Customers
You should also go directly to your customers for more ideas on how your new tech can better serve them. A simple but effective way to do this is to offer a survey that asks consumers how they think your new tech will affect their experience.
A survey allows you to gather their input about what they’d like to see without involving them directly in the tech decision, offering a way to gauge how customers might react to a change before you make one.
Be a Disruptor Without Disrupting Your Customers
Choosing the right technology partner can provide with you solutions that help you disrupt your competitors without disrupting your customer service.
Schedule a demo with Wealth Access today to see how we can help you take your tech to the next level.