March 26, 2018

Crossing the Chasm into the Digital Age

Written by Keith Kemph

Almost everywhere we look, we see the signs of a rapidly progressing transformation to an online, digital future, in the way we communicate, consume entertainment, shop and manage our finances. Very surely more and more aspects of our daily lives are changing at a clip unlike anything we’ve seen before. Is it possible the banking and mortgage industries are immune to this transformation? Absolutely not.

But disturbingly, a survey by Mindmatters Technologies Inc., a firm that specializes in helping clients maximize innovation in new product development, found that 81% of US businesses do not have the resources needed to fully pursue the innovations and new ideas capable of keeping their companies ahead in a competitive marketplace. Polling from CC Pace’s own recent survey (Mortgage Banking & Technology: Lenders’ Perspective) found that thus far, fully 80% of lenders have failed to take substantive steps towards creating the capability of offering their customers a truly end-to-end digital mortgage experience.

Banks and lenders continue to find themselves trapped by mature, complex processes, products, and systems, and the cost of breaking these chains to enter the digital age will only continue to mount. Further, lenders exhibit little confidence that their software providers are doing enough to help them with the transition. Evidence of this concern is validated in our recent survey where we found that 64% of lenders today continue to be “unhappy with” or “resigned to” their current technology provider.

Even as many in the banking industry struggle to overcome inertia in their move towards digital, they are feeling threatened by “outsiders” who are not as bound by the past, thus are able to more freely design, build, and launch solutions that offer cutting edge technology and processes that better meet the demands of today’s consumer. Whether motivated by fear of survival or the desire to be an industry leader, one thing is for sure: lenders can ill afford to sit idly by, waiting for the future to arrive.

Consequently, lenders are increasingly deciding to take the future into their own hands. For some, that means moving away from traditional vendor-supported platforms in favor of developing technology in-house, but such moves are not for the faint-hearted. Many more are finding that the most cost-effective (and risk averse) strategy for moving into the digital age is to begin building on top of their existing platforms to effectively cross the chasm. Bolting new capabilities onto legacy systems from among a host of FinTech upstarts, coupled with adopting aggressive process reengineering and business transformation projects can allow them to attain new benchmarks of success.

With many lenders lacking the time and resources to sustain a complete technology overhaul and engage in an end-to-end business transformation, often they turn to third-parties, including CC Pace, to help pave their way to success in the digital age. Employing innovative ideas, judiciously selected technology additions, and a well thought out approach to reengineering can allow almost any lender to successfully reposition themselves to attain their digital transformation goals.

I’ve always said, “it all comes down to execution”. A key component to successful execution is knowing that successful process reengineering is less of an IT effort and more of a strategic business design project. For lenders to catapult themselves successfully across the chasm into the digital age, it will require a balanced approach of taking the future into their own hands, designing a realistic roadmap, finding the right partner to work with, and executing flawlessly. You see problems; we at CC Pace see solutions.

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