Factors contributing to the downfall of the financial industry have been discussed ad nauseam and I suspect will continue to be debated well into the future. While I agree, identifying the root cause is necessary to ensure history does not repeat itself; financial institutions must begin the recovery process by getting back to business and back to basics. At a time when expense management, client acquisition, and retention and risk management are crucial to not only success, but mere survival in the market, it is ironic that many institutions are shying away from IT investments and reverting back to a more manual and ultimately, more costly and risky methodology.
Throughout the industry, there has been a resounding call to get back to the fundamentals of banking. However, this does not imply reverting back to manual processes, nor does it preclude banks from investing in innovation. What it means, or should mean, is that questionable lending and risky investments must stop and banks need to enable better predictive capabilities to reduce risk through utilizing new, more sophisticated technology. In today's financial market, having the right tools in place to adapt rapidly to changing market conditions, as well as empower every bank employee to provide the best, most personalized service possible (all at lower costs) is essential. Process automation allows banks to do just that - reduce costs while providing better service to their core clientele.