Organisations Must Balance Risk and Investment, According to SAP

Pressure to meet industry standards could compromise long-term success as financial services organisations are more likely to focus on risk protection than innovation and growth, according to a new report from SAP. The report also reveals that meeting customer expectations around trust and quality of service is dominating boardroom debates as the pressure is on IT departments to deliver creative solutions that will solve big data demands whilst meeting customer expectations.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Sixty percent of financial services firms say they are more focused on protecting themselves against risk than they are in investing to innovate and grow (40%).
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents are under more regulatory pressure than they were 12 months ago.
  • Financial services firms are only able to act upon 39% of the customer data they have.
  • IT is seen as a significant core differentiator at board level by 46% of companies in the sector.
  • Improving customer trust is rated as a priority for 3 out of 5 firms in the sector.
  • Sixty-five percent of firms in the sector say their customers are more demanding of a personal service than they were two years ago.

This independent industry report, commissioned by SAP, of 100 financial services companies found that improving customer service was the number one business priority by 65% of respondents. This was followed by increasing sales and revenue (63%), building customer trust (61%) and regulatory compliance (61%). Firms in the finance sector are clearly aware of the need for continuing investment in technology in 2012. The challenge they face however, is in prioritising this investment, and balancing the need to protect themselves from risk with the need for changes to the back office operations that enable longer-term strategic service improvements.

“The findings from the report all point towards the fact that the industry is in desperate need of balancing IT investment in order to keep up with, what looks set to be, a highly competitive year. There is a fundamental need to meet regulatory requirements but at the same time the sector needs to find a way to grasp big data. Currently the industry is failing to maximise the potential for revenue growth and improved customer interaction by utilising the data at its disposal,” said Jane Tweddle, financial service principal SAP UK and Ireland.


Related reading

New consumer banking head for Citi Asia Pacific