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4 pitfalls to watch out for as AI revolutionizes the financial services space


Will they keep the momentum going? 4 warning signs can predict trouble ahead.

If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s advancements in technology. These innovations seem to effortlessly integrate into our individual daily lives, often without much ado. However, when it comes to organizations, embracing new technologies and tools is far from seamless. The introduction of these changes often disrupts teams, processes, and established ways of operating. To fully leverage new capabilities, organizations must strategically dedicate resources to evolving their people, processes, and governance in response. Those that do will witness the successful implementation, adoption, and benefits of their new capabilities. Those that neglect these components of change management find themselves endlessly calculating ROI, searching for reasons why things didn’t go as planned, or scouring contracts for an escape route.

New Capabilities

A recent report by Visa highlighted a notable surge in digital remittances, the transfer of money by a migrant worker to a family member or friend in their home country. As a result, they invested in valuable partnerships to make the transfer of money across the globe easier. In theory, this will improve the lives of the people using the service and be a great addition to Visa’s capabilities.

Research has consistently demonstrated the crucial role of streamlined application processes in driving growth, and we have witnessed this firsthand while optimizing application flows for our clients. Mastercard has recently launched its latest innovation, Open Banking for Account Opening, aimed at making the account opening experience more convenient and secure. The ultimate goal is to alleviate the anxiety and apprehensions that applicants may feel when completing complex and time-consuming applications that include their most private information. A win-win for the customer and Mastercard.

And more broadly speaking, the financial services industry is in the midst of a monumental transformation driven by the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). A recent global survey revealed that approximately 60% of companies have already integrated AI capabilities into their operations, often first using virtual assistants or conversational interfaces to enhance customer experience while keeping costs down. And we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of harnessing AI opportunities.

Big moves are happening! These advancements are truly exciting, but sustained progress can only be managed by carefully evaluating the impact on people, processes, and governance along the way. Achieving success in this dynamic landscape necessitates a comprehensive and interconnected approach.

To help you navigate these complexities and ensure you are embarking on new capabilities with an approach that can scale, we’re providing four things to watch out for along with tips for how to identify if this is happening in your organization.

4 Warning Signs

Whether you’ve recently rolled out a new capability or you are considering something new, here are the top four red flags to watch out for. Spotting these warning signs early will help you identify a problem quickly so that you can adjust course.

1. Misaligned Goals

When goals within an organization are misaligned, each department focuses on its own objectives rather than aligning to a common goal. This fragmentation can be catastrophic to the new capabilities you’re trying to build. Misaligned goals are a likely culprit if you observe communication silos, resistance to resource sharing and collaboration, and/or teams working on things that have the potential to undermine your transformation efforts. If you see misaligned goals in your organization, it’s a great opportunity to be a connector. Work with stakeholders to share your goals and objectives, listen to theirs, and collaborate to find a common ground that can set everyone up for success.

2. Information Silos

We mentioned information silos above, but what does that mean? Information silos occur when information remains confined within pockets and is not shared widely. This often leads to a lack of transparency, duplication of efforts, reduced efficiency, and diminished decision-making capabilities. You’re likely dealing with information silos if you don’t have the information you need at your fingertips if data access is a challenge, and if coordination among teams feels challenging. This is often a people- and process-related challenge, and so working with the people that have the influence to obtain and share information is a great first step. You may need a tool to capture and share insights, like illuminate®, if the challenge involves lacking a single source of truth.

3. Unscalable Process

New capabilities are shiny and exciting, but people aren’t always as thrilled about developing and documenting processes (or even change in general!). But, it’s so important. An unscalable process restricts the organization’s ability to adapt, innovate, and effectively respond to changing market dynamics. If left unchecked, it leads to missed opportunities, decreased competitiveness, and potential loss of business. Signs that you’re working with an unscalable process may include bottlenecks, increased errors or delays, overwhelmed resources, strained communications, and an inability to meet growing demands or customer expectations. This requires change management expertise. If you have this expertise in-house, engage with them to reevaluate your process and create a new one. If you don’t have this expertise readily available, our expert Solutions Consultants can step in and have your process defined and ready to grow.

4. Limited Data Access

Data is sensitive and restricting access is part of keeping the data secure. But sometimes that results in unintentionally blocking data needed to make decisions. Without it, team members won’t have access to all necessary information and may miss out on opportunities for innovation and improvements. This one is pretty obvious when it’s happening in your organization. If you’ve been making a decision and said “I wish I knew ___” or “It would be great if I had data about _____,” then this issue is likely present in your organization. To resolve it, you’ll need to work with the people involved with data governance. From there, the challenge becomes combing through tons of data to extract actionable insights. This is even more challenging when your organization hasn’t optimized its data landscape to include the people, processes, and governance that support it.

In Summary

New capabilities enable brands to engage with customers in new ways. But, it’s not as simple as buying the technology. People, processes, and governance issues will arise. To ensure these capabilities keep functioning and even scale, beware of the four warning signs that indicate there’s trouble ahead. These warning signs are applicable to all organizations – even distinguished brands like Visa and Mastercard.

At Brooks Bell, we build insight-driven organizations that can scale and adapt quickly. If you are on a rocky journey or just beginning a new one, contact us to learn more about our approach.

Originally Published on LinkedIn