July 12, 2023

5 minutes read

Digital Transformation’s Effect on Employee Retention in Financial Services Industry


Andrew Graf

Digital transformation is likely a buzzword you hear often, no matter your industry or business size. In today’s world – people expect a well-designed digital experience that allows them to do business whenever they like, however they like. As a result, IT leaders in all industries are finding ways to provide this digital experience and to update legacy systems to support new technologies that enable the types of experiences their customers and employees desire.

Within financial services, this is especially true. In the wake of the global pandemic that saw many banks grappling with branch closures and a large shift to online banking and virtual experiences – digital transformation initiatives are top of mind.

And to successfully pull off a digital transformation, banks and financial institutions must retain the talent within their product, development and IT teams. In fact, a recent study found that digital transformation can be a defining factor in retaining top talent, as well as a factor in determining the future stability of the organization itself.

The study found that 94 percent of product managers said they would leave their current position to work for a competitor bank with better technology, while an overwhelming majority (92 percent) said they would leave their current position for a bank with more ambitious transformation goals.

For anyone working in tech, these findings aren’t surprising. Product and development teams tend to thrive on challenging work – regardless of the industry – and don’t want to work for companies that don’t prioritize new technologies and state-of-the-art processes.

“In an environment where technology is shaping sectors faster than ever before, and upskilling workforces remains a constant challenge, banks must understand that they cannot compete long-term without powerful technology and the skilled workforces able to use it effectively,” Andy Jenkins, CEO of 10x, said in an article on the study. “Digital transformation in the financial sector is no longer a preference, but a key to survival.”

The Right Technology is Key to Digital Transformation

When you think about digital banking experiences, most think about banking apps and other technology to enable a digital customer experience. However, there’s so much more that goes into digital transformation. It’s not just about the customer experience but improving the service experience overall for both the customers and employees.

This means investing in technologies to support all facets of business, not just the customer-facing parts. Many banking and financial institutions pride themselves on being cutting-edge when it comes to technology, and often, to be on the cutting edge, you need to update internal legacy systems like your IT Service Management system, your project management software and processes, your HR systems, etc.

Frontwave Credit Union, a banking institution based in Oceanside, California, is embarking on a digital transformation and has dubbed this year the year of the process as it embarks on a digital-first strategy to improve the customer experience for both members and employees.

“This year is the year of the process, and that’s where we are really focused,” explained Roger Estrada, Vice President of Process Excellence and the Program Management Office. “We are meeting this increased demand (from customers) by restructuring what we do and how we do it by making our processes scalable, creating better escalation paths, providing self-service opportunities and prioritizing requests based on different criteria. But it all begins for us by really understanding our value stream and overall service flow.”

Estrada and his team work cross-functionally with IT, Operations, Finance and many other groups to support the respective team’s initiatives.

The process excellence initiative dovetails seamlessly with leadership’s digital-first vision.

Removing Friction with Better Service Management

When it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM), Estrada said the organization is hyper-focused on reviewing processes and ensuring there aren’t any non-value add steps that result in friction or a bad experience, “We want to make sure we’re properly set up to meet the needs and demands of our organization and our customers.”  

To do this, his team engages with the IT organization to help uncover any areas for improvement. With the organizational focus on digital-first, Estrada is tasked with finding opportunities to support this vision. The PMO team is doing this by listening to the voice of the process, gathering data and analyzing it critically to really see where improvements can be made.  

As an example, Estrada worked with IT leadership to identify areas where IT technicians were spending too many hours on manual work. “As we started evaluating our processes, we were seeing there are a lot of manual processes that cause a drain on our resources,” Estrada said. “We think we can get some positive results and benefits by introducing some automation.” 

“Many IT teams are loaded down with service tickets, so we wanted to look at our processes and see where there are opportunities to automate ticket resolution and find ways to improve our ease of service,” Estrada said. “The quicker and easier it is to resolve tickets, the better the experience is.” 

As part of this strategy, Frontwave made the switch to TeamDynamix as it offered a unified platform that encompasses IT Service Management, Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and enterprise integration and automation (iPaaS). With a no-code platform, the team can reduce time spent on system administration and can roll out new functionality, workflows and integrations faster. As organizations seek to level up their key functions such as IT service delivery and to initiate digital transformation, many are requiring new technology solutions to be no-code. 

“We have a lot of competing priorities so we really want to understand the team’s workflows and priorities so that we can continue to deliver the best customer experience,” he said. 

With the influx of new tools and solutions being implemented to usher in a new digital experience and an evolution of user expectations to have fulfilling digital experiences – especially when it comes to customer service – it can be a real hornet’s nest for IT teams to manage.   

A single platform approach, like the one Frontwave is taking, allows IT leaders to engage in resource capacity planning to improve their technicians’ workloads and quality of life. Additional benefits of using a single platform for ITSM and PPM include: 

  • The ability to foster and promote process improvements through digital transformation 
  • Improved user experience for customers, employees, IT technicians and project managers. 
  • The consolidation of systems and applications for more efficient management. 
  • The ability to bring service and project management together. 

Frontwave is looking to automate manual tasks that bog down resources. TeamDynamix can supercharge ITSM and PPM by integrating with enterprise systems, or it can be used to integrate any applications for data transfer and automation. This can include Workday, Salesforce, Teams, Slack, DocuSign, Office365 or any of the hundreds of solutions that make up an organization’s tech ecosystem. 

“Our focus is really on improving our operational layer and looking to optimize with technology enhancements,” he said. “Our biggest focus is on delivering the best experience, products and service to our members.”

Curious to learn more about the state of IT within financial services? Check out the latest market study: State of ITSM in Financial Services.

Andrew Graf

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