Keys to Mobile Success in Financial Markets

By Tony Young, Global Director, Industry Principal – Financial Markets, Pegasystems

Mobile devices now outnumber computers as a means of connecting to the Internet. For every traditional computer in operation today there are 3 mobile devices (phones, tablets) being used (Source: Strategy Analytics, 10/2014). This new mobile ubiquity presents opportunities for financial organizations to reduce costs, improve operations and increase satisfaction across client service, sales, marketing and operations.

While these same opportunities exist in other industries, such as manufacturing, retail, or travel, the very nature of financial services as an industry fueled by information means that providing faster, easier access to that information can have outsized benefits.

However, a word of caution: don’t build another silo. Companies attempting to “get mobile” or think “mobile first” are finding that simply building dozens of mobile apps does not automatically produce the hoped-for benefits. Firms that wish to truly leverage the benefits of mobility would do well to learn lessons from previous technology “revolutions.” Adventurous companies 20 years ago created “web teams” to put their content online. What they really created were new silos: online versions of their paper brochures containing the same outdated information, but requiring new specialized resources (web developers, content managers) to keep them updated.

Mobile is different, and building and deploying mobile apps does require different skills and tools than other applications. However, when the “mobile developers” are distinct and separated from the enterprise application teams, problems arise. Employees and clients seeking consistent answers and support through disconnected channels become frustrated and unproductive. The organization incurs overlapping investments on functionality that should be re-used across all channels and devices.

Instead of being a silo, a special case of an enterprise application, mobile apps should be extensions of enterprise applications. If the sales automation system at the desktop shows a new account has been opened and an old one suspended, then the mobile version of that application, the app, should show the exact same information, with no delay or lag due to “syncing”.

Successful applications function well across all channels, completely independent of the device from which they’re accessed. And successful financial organizations deliver a seamless user experience across all channels, providing clients and employees with the service they expect, when and where they want it.

Design once, deploy any of three different ways.

The unique requirements of financial markets around privacy, security, performance, and compliance provide yet another reason for avoiding the mobile silo. When apps are separate from enterprise applications, it’s too easy for the requirements to be relaxed and for corners to be cut. Rather, mobile apps should have even more stringent requirements in these areas due to the portable (read prone to loss or theft) nature of devices.

The mobile landscape is changing at rapid rates with new devices introduced continuously and older devices becoming virtually obsolete in just a few years. To keep up with the fast-moving mobile landscape, apps can’t be built and deployed on a traditional 3-year lifecycle. Rather, mobile apps, like their enterprise counterparts, should be built with the intent to change and evolve continuously over time.

All these factors – no silos, unique financial markets requirements, and rapid change – should make CIOs think carefully about their organization’s approach to application development. Implementation of an engineered architecture, such as the one shown in the diagram above, that can deploy mobile apps as extensions of enterprise applications across channels and adapt easily to changing business and technical requirements will almost always be worth the up-front investment.

Contact: Tony Young, Global Director, Industry Principal – Financial Markets

Phone: (617)-374-9600

About Pegasystems

Pegasystems (NASDAQ: PEGA) develops strategic applications for sales, marketing, service and operations. Pega’s applications streamline critical business operations, connect enterprises to their customers seamlessly in real-time across channels, and adapt to meet rapidly changing requirements. Pega’s Global 500 customers include the world’s largest and most sophisticated enterprises. Pega’s applications, available on-premises or in the cloud, are built on its unified Pega 7 platform, which uses visual tools to easily extend and change applications to meet clients’ strategic business needs. Pega’s clients report that Pega gives them the fastest time to value, extremely rapid deployment, efficient re-use and global scale. For more information, please visit us at www.pega.com.

 

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