While others were rolling down the shutters, banks, as part of the country’s critical national infrastructure, had to find ways to stay open and available to customers.
This was no mean feat as they also tried to manage an almost total migration of office-based personnel to work from home. It wasn’t just remote working policies that had to be urgently addressed; technology also had to be reviewed to ensure that data access, security and capacity were all fit for purpose for mass home working, and to maintain regulatory compliance.
This unexpected and accelerated change meant network suppliers had to rapidly provide the skills, staff and capacity for mass remote access capability. With business continuation the top priority, banks that were already part-way through their digital transformation faced a far more streamlined transition than others. For those without digital roadmaps, two to three-year plans suddenly had to be approved and pushed through in just weeks to make sure that critical services could continue operating securely.
Customers and offices are driving digital transformation
Following the initial panic of the pandemic, it’s clear across banking that the move to working from home has been a success. So much so, that many are already considering reducing their physical footprint by reviewing branch strategy and use of large city office towers. Following the interest rate cut to 0.1% in March, reducing capital expenditure like property costs makes a great deal of financial sense. What’s more, this releases budget to invest in optimised digital services and to repurpose branches as local ‘hubs’ — something that’s more convenient for customers and employees, and more cost-effective for banks.
It’s critical that the infrastructure supporting this move to digital is robust — allowing agents and other banking personnel to work reliably, flexibly and securely both from home and the offices and branches that have reopened. Network performance at home must be as good as in the office so that security and productivity can be maintained. The business case for providing robust services to workers is clear, and the banks that get ahead in terms of their digital transformation will be the ones who are more agile and able to offer a superior service to customers in the future. This flexibility will, for example, allow banks to adjust quickly to local lockdown and uncertainty, as there’s optimum capability to work from a range of locations.
A flexible future
From providing optimised omnichannel services, to strategic security planning that gives home workers access to the correct data — there are plenty of challenges in the next few years for banking. It’s not just customers who want greater flexibility, banks too are reluctant to commit to fixed services that won’t meet the agility requirements of the future. Discussions now are centred around Opex based services as opposed to capital intensive projects and, with the right level of flexible network infrastructure, banks are beginning to realise the vast possibilities of a digital future.
Shaping an end-to-end solution that’s built to last
It’s clear that pressure is mounting for a network solution that’s more digital, globally distributed and data focussed. Not to mention more efficient and cost-effective.
New software-defined services, cloud capability and network options are an excellent starting point for creating the secure, dynamic network banking needs. One that’s agile enough to adapt as new business models develop.
Another vital aspect of the network is security, and it’s imperative that fast-paced technology adoption doesn’t impact negatively on security posture. As the world moves to greater remote access, our focus is increasingly on securing the client’s environment, while at the same time ensuring sufficient coverage. It’s something we’re developing constantly, so that it doesn’t hinder digital transformation for the banking sector.
Drawing on SD-WAN, secure connectivity, and blending your optimised network with the right combination of cloud services, it’s possible to better connect your sites and your people, providing greater insights and helping to streamline processes. Analytics, automation, portals, machine learning and AI can give you new data insight and control, helping you to make better business decisions.
It takes more than tech to shape a global network
Technology alone is not the answer. For digital transformation to be truly successful, global financial organisations also need an infrastructure with the right security, service and management.
We have a wealth of experience in network transformations and in developing software-defined solutions. We’ve delivered thousands of solutions globally with our ever-increasing choice of secure services and solutions. During the pandemic, we helped customers across every sector extend bandwidth to support the move to homeworking securely – often in a matter of hours.
Our approach means that multiple technologies and legacy systems can be easily managed to create a single, secure global network infrastructure for your business. Through our broad portfolio of solutions, we can easily integrate with the collaboration applications, data and third-party cloud providers you need globally. Then our end-to-end management of your entire solution simplifies operations for you – and improves user experience for your team and your customers.
Most importantly, we’re constantly updating our solutions, so as you move into a software-defined world, your solution is guaranteed to evolve with you.
The shape of things to come
Digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic — but, in doing so, it will transform the future of business. Through our expertise and choice of SD-WAN technology, network, cloud, security and management services, we can help you shape the future of your business, too.
Get in touch or read ‘Shape your future infrastructure: A proposal’ for more detailed information on how we can guide your transformation