While the financial industry encompasses a broad spectrum, anyone in the sector is likely dealing with numerous common challenges. As technology evolves, industries must adapt or be left in the dust. Here’s a quick list of some of the top IT concerns for financial firms.
1. Consumer expectations. Today, customers value quick service via phone or online. Since IT manages part of the consumer experience, not having a streamlined process can lead to a weak reputation and a frustrated customer base.
2. Security. Malware and third party attacks continue to grow in complexity and volume. IT departments not ready to combat evolving threats put their organizations at serious risk, since these attacks can lead to lost data and downtime.
3. Infrastructure cost. All the emphasis on technology brings its own serious cost and need for investment. That could involve additional server space, new staff, and/or utilizing managed service providers. On top of this, there’s maintenance and monthly upkeep. Over time, it can get overwhelming.
4. Lack of returns. IT is important, and with the previously mentioned investments, getting the most out of it is important. One potential challenge organizations face is that despite all the resources they spend in IT, they aren’t getting the most functionality out of it.
5. Managing data. So much information can now be acquired through a variety of analytical tools. However, this enormous flood of information must be processed to produce meaningful results. The financial sector will not benefit from investments in data analysis if it can’t turn this into something practical.
6. Greater need for expertise. IT is constantly in demand. However, organizations are still finding difficulty in landing the ideal IT team. More experts in the wide range of issues financial firms face are needed in a market that just doesn’t have the people to fill in the blanks.
7. Mobile security. A big advantage companies have nowadays is allowing their workers to manage tasks from anywhere. This keeps people productive and removes environmental constraints. However, it also creates potential security risks, and without endpoint security, organizations open themselves up to attack.
8. Cloud security. It’s not just mobile security that’s important. Companies that utilize private or hybrid clouds must make sure their network is secure. Otherwise they increase their risk of data breaches.
9. Adapting legacy systems. There are plenty of IT challenges for financial firms to overcome, and in some cases this requires replacing legacy systems like phone installations. VoIP and similar services offer a range of flexibility but also need the proper people to replace and protect them. Therefore, financial sectors relying on older hardware/software may have difficulty adapting to evolving demands.
10. Speed of services. Time is money, and while new technology has allowed information, files, and projects to travel quickly from person to person, speed is imperative in the financial sector. Once concern that’s always existed is how quickly services will transfer information and how much is financially lost because of any lags in delivery speed.