How IT Support Helps Banks Transform the Customer Experience

By: Domenic Ciccone - Leave a comment


Like most industries, the banking and financial sector views IT support as a cost center rather than as a strategic asset. At the same time, banks are under tremendous pressure to reduce both the capital and operational burdens of IT in order to remain competitive in an increasingly service-driven economy.

The rise of mobile-driven technologies is fueling an explosion of online and app-based transactional services. This trend means traditional branch offices must evolve into agile, data-driven entities while still providing the personal touch that customers value. However, because each branch requires its own IT infrastructure, banks are in a difficult position when it comes to maintenance and support. While growing into the digital era, banks must face competition from more nimble competitors built from the ground up around fully cloud-native architectures.

Transforming from traditional IT structure to digital-facing architecture is a double-edged sword. The finance industry is among the most highly regulated in the world. Organizations need to tread carefully before making major changes to their current data footprints.

Investing in IT Support Services

This is why many banks are optimizing their IT support services by consolidating their hardware and software support contracts with a single managed service provider. With this approach, institutions can rely on a world-class partner to help guide their transformation to cutting-edge digital services using a wealth of technologies and automated processes that cut costs and improve the performance of today’s IT infrastructure.

IBM Technology Support Services (TSS) offers a host of advantages over existing in-house IT support, including multivendor capabilities that support heterogeneous IT banking environments. By integrating all of these dimensions into a cohesive, one-stop solution, IBM TSS delivers enhanced data capabilities by helping organizations:

  • Deploy advanced technologies. IBM’s leadership in analytics, cognitive computing and automation, combined with the world’s largest knowledge repositories, enables always-on solutions.

  • Consolidate multivendor management. As the largest global IT supporter, IBM acts as the single point of contact to manage all IT support matters and help guide organizations toward the most economical support model. It also is able to leverage its immense buying power to simplify vendor management.

  • Service optimization. IBM TSS utilizes tens of thousands of annual client survey responses to improve support operations. At the same time, cutting-edge innovations such as blockchain, augmented reality, 3-D printing and Watson deliver better service faster.

  • Advanced global support capabilities. IBM uses decades of experience, unparalleled knowledge and proven methods to support complex IT environments across platforms and products in all industries. Customers trust IBM to take the lead for problem resolution.

Banks can improve customer engagement by shifting the burden of IT to a proven leader like IBM. As with virtually all customer-facing business models, faster and more innovative application development is becoming a key driver of growth and expansion into new markets. Through cloud-based DevOps processes backed by cognitive technologies and predictive analytics, organizations can implement a steady stream of innovation that improves customer satisfaction and enables security and reliability.

A support services model equips companies to modernize infrastructure at an accelerated rate. This strategy decreases capital and operating costs while offering improved agility. Under traditional silo-based infrastructure, support is driven by the needs of the systems. This model leads to hands-off support, finger-pointing and reduced visibility. It can also present security risks by unnecessarily exposing critical systems to attack vectors.

Faster, Better, Cheaper

Banking institutions are working to convert these silo-laden architectures into integrated, API-based data ecosystems that strive for faster, cheaper responses to market requirements. Companies are deploying new technologies like robotics process automation and blockchain to give knowledge workers the tools to conduct business at an accelerated pace.

By partnering with IBM, banks and financial institutions can upend the support-model status quo while retaining their technologies of choice, tapping into emerging opportunities and reducing operational risk. We also offer integrated multivendor support for ATM and branch banking, and our regulatory and compliance support services utilize recognized industry experts, governmental resources and the latest cognitive technologies.

Successful banking hinges on effective customer service. As users become more accustomed to hands-free, problem-free living in all aspects of their lives, banks that can’t provide an optimal experience with every customer interaction will quickly lose ground to those that can.

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About The Author

Domenic Ciccone

Global Business Line Executive, Financial Services, IBM Global Technology Services (GTS)

Most of Domenic’s career has been concentrated in the financial services industry, with a specific focus on ATM and retail banking. He joined IBM six years ago in the self-service banking unit in Canada. While there, he led bank consulting engagements in Europe on ATM operations. For two years prior to assuming his current role,... Read More