Stay Ahead of the Game ‐ Agile Transformation in Era of Regulations and Digital Disruption

Choong Sin Fatt, Senior Solution Architect, Rally Software

Increased regulatory requirements weighing your organization down? This may be so for many financial institutions, with more people and systems added on to comply with regulations, invariably causing lapses in productivity, escalating expenses, and decreasing customer satisfaction.

Amidst this climate, there are some companies that have found ways to comply with regulations yet get ahead of competition.

Not only are they complying to regulations for better risk management, which ultimately protects the reputation of the organization and the customers they serve, these organizations are delivering new initiatives and better business value to customers expecting enhanced services and new delivery platforms and channels that fit their lifestyle, through digital and Agile transformation.

Digital initiatives to transform the business, comply to regulations and meet customer expectations of services and delivery platforms are important for market success in this current environment of fierce competition and heavy regulations. Traditional approaches no longer suffice; companies are turning to an Agile approach to stay nimble.

Here are four ways how an Agile approach can benefit financial service organizations:

  1. Comply With Growing Regulatory Requirements

Globally, regulatory requirements are becoming a common pain point. Not only are financial businesses required to adhere to multiple sets of rules, they are expected to have detailed documentation, which are time-intensive and expensive. Customer satisfaction can be affected as well.

The traditional waterfall approaches to management piles on yet another burden of documentation. Agile, on the other hand, can actually ease the load and help support compliance requirements at the same time. For example, Rally’s Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platform can be used for creating documents for specific business requirements, and produce a BRD-type reports for audits. As more financial companies are using Rally and auditors are becoming more familiar with Agile processes, Agile-driven reporting will become even clearer.  As for software development in financial institutions, Agile makes compliance more transparent by building monitoring and reporting into the development lifecycle.

  1. Enhance Customer Experiences

Customer experience is becoming a key differentiator for financial institutions as the business becomes more consumerized. Financial institutions are hard pressed to create innovative tools and experiences, against a new crop of emerging non-traditional competition, to provide online and mobile transactions to meet the expectations of tech-savvy clients.

Fortunately, Agile lifecycle has taken customer feedback into consideration and gives financial services firms the ability to effectively integrate feedback into their business processes, to enhance online banking interactions and improve customer response time.

  1. Increase Business Agility

“Disruption” is often associated with startups. But with startups and other non-regulated companies encroaching onto the financial sector, financial services companies can no longer stay with the traditional banking culture of siloed business units, legacy technology systems, a risk-averse world view and a snail’s pace of change. Financial institutions have to be responsive and adaptable, to be competitive.

Adopting the Agile approach enables companies to react quickly, with more efficient and targeted outcomes, remain flexible and provides executives with the real-time data they need to make decisions swiftly.

  1. Improve Cost Management and Efficiency

Financial firms are some of technology’s largest consumers, but technology is not always aligned with business strategy. Internally, business units compete for funding and human resources. Communication breakdowns can also be the cause of redundancies or missed opportunities.

What if this is not the case? What if financial institutions can harness technology to identify and improve the most critical projects? Agile helps companies build the right things, and build them right. By tracking and prioritizing work according to its value, and coordinating the delivery of products and services efficiently, even across distributed teams, Agile helps companies fund the projects that really count.

Execute a Successful Transformation

Rally can guide companies in successfully implementing Agile approaches, with results that improve business outcomes and also elevate business culture. Providing visibility across distributed and varied functional groups, reducing delivery times and improving release quality, Rally ensures that companies have the high traceability and transparency required in today’s heavily regulated environment.



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