As touched upon in our previous blog on this topic Fin Serv Blog 1, financial services firms continue to face increased pressure to find new sources of revenue and increase customer value. To reach this objective, many are looking to combine advanced technologies with a wealth of data and an expanding ecosystem of services from internal and external sources in unique ways. These firms want to drive more data-driven transactions through several integrated services and strengthen their relationships with their customers. These long-term, deep relations combined with customer and market insights open even more new sources of revenue through data and service subscriptions and increase wallet share through a cohesive platform and ecosystem strategy.
In response to this need, the platform business model has become increasingly essential to creating that compelling user experience expected by consumers. Therefore, it makes sense that financial services firms are embracing the platform business model. These firms are successfully using data and services from multiple sources to provide a better offering to their clients while also reducing effort, cost, and risk in the process.
In today’s tech-driven world, financial services organizations are getting into the platform business model game. We see shared/connected capabilities provided not only through core banking but also through platform lending (Kiva), debt collection (TrueAccord), commercial banking (nCino), and wealth management (Betterment).
While financial institutions continue to march down the digital transformation path, one of the biggest drivers for these transformations could come — not from a brilliant idea within — but the consumers themselves. To this point, “50% of clients think their primary wealth manager should improve their digital capabilities.”(1)
As you think about your firm’s journey to employ a platform business model, one thing to note is the interesting appetites in the financial services vertical across their most enabled/empowered development teams. Often, the only way to evolve and retain coveted talent in a highly regulated industry is to consider the whitespaces and adjacencies.
Just consider organizations exporting the creations from their culture and structure to enable even their competitors to benefit from their labors. For example, Capital One just became an overnight sensation — that took well over a decade! — as they announced Slingshot, a SaaS management stack for Snowflake:
- ~ Two years ago: https://thenewstack.io/how-open-source-drives-cloud-innovation-at-capital-one/
- ~ Two months ago: https://www.capitalone.com/about/newsroom/capital-one-launches-capital-one-software/
- < Two days ago: https://github.com/orgs/capitalone/repositories
With this operations model, we’ve highlighted a few examples of financial services firms finding their foothold in the future. It is estimated that 70% of new value created in the economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled platform business models. (2)
Requirements to create a financial services platform
So, how can financial services firms achieve their goals of adopting a platform business model? There are three activities executives can utilize to help them along their journey.
- Focus first on the outcomes before selecting technology
First and foremost, the focus must start and remain on the business itself, not the technology behind making the platform work. Far too often, organizations get caught up in selecting technologies that can enable a platform without genuinely understanding the desired business outcomes and related business workflows that will make it possible to achieve those outcomes.
Know that your goals can be met with the technologies available. It’s essential to get the “what” right before digging into the “how.” And, when the plans for how to deliver on the promise become reality, remember that monolithic vendors may see their market considerably constrained unless they increase modularization themselves. APIs will be key to integration.
- Embrace hybrid cloud to achieve the outcomes
With the business outcomes solidified, firms can begin to define the program’s foundation that will comprise the people, processes, and technologies required to create the platform. However, companies will never achieve a platform business model without fully embracing the need for groups of highly skilled individuals that embody a culture, methodology, and experience with the technologies and processes required to pull this all together.
As noted in another blog, Financial Services Cloud Innovation is at the Strategic Core of Long-Term Growth, we highlighted Gartner’s expectations that cloud will continue to be the centerpiece for new digital experiences, garnering $474 billion with 85% of organizations embracing a cloud-first principle and over 95% of new digital workloads deployed on cloud-native platforms by 2025.
While technology is essential for the platform business model to work, the people and process are equally critical. All three must work in concert to achieve the best outcomes.
- Leverage partnerships to complete the circle and close the skills gap
When time is of the essence, it’s vital for companies that want to fast forward and accelerate the transition to a platform business model to select the strategic partners that can deliver both hybrid cloud platform teams and the essential managed services that enable full coverage and complete lifecycle solutions for these crucial technologies that power platform business models.
Accelerating business outcomes
As we look from within Taos/IBM towards co-creation and ultimately to the outside innovation centers, there will be “footprints in the sand” that we can follow to understand how we simplify and promote these same cultures for our many valued financial services customers.
At Taos, we’re interested in delighting the CTO with technical solutions that deliver for the business. Yes, we continue to honor our past, where technology has traditionally been in the driver’s seat for transformation. However, today and in the future, we’re just as interested in the CEO, COO, CXO, CIO, CPO, and CDO because outcomes matter to them, and they want to benefit significantly from the precious talent they have attracted to their companies.
While each firm will have its own definition of the perfect outcome, underneath all of them will almost certainly be that your talent is enabled, empowered, motivated, and simply cannot wait to begin each morning by serving your customers’ needs in a developer’s paradise.
So, if achieving meaningful business outcomes is vital to you… let’s talk about the next step. When the time comes to take this transition to a platform business model, Taos is here to help your firm embrace the hybrid cloud and support your efforts with skills and knowledge to ensure your journey is a success. For more information about how financial services firms like yours work with Taos, visit https://www.taos.com/industries/financial/.
1 – (US wealth management: A growth agenda for the coming decade), McKinsey, February 2022
2 – Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and New Value Creation, World Economic Forum, March 2020