Closing the Productivity Gap in the Financial Services Sector

Several forces that are compelling digital transformation across the financial services industry are also commanding heavy scrutiny from business leaders as they strive to achieve meaningful change. Globally, the sector is being reshaped by factors like regulatory change, the rise of FinTech and new competition, the proliferation of mobile technologies, shifting customer needs, and a pattern of cyberattacks growing in both number and sophistication.


Moreover, insufficient protection can yield staggering consequences. Research has found that the financial services industry has the highest average annualized cost of cybercrime at $18.28 million-$1 million more than the next industry sector.[1] And, when the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect in May of this year, noncompliance with that regulation can result in penalties up to 4% of annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher.


These regulatory and security risks have forced many traditional financial services institutions to build siloed applications and data repositories, lock down access to applications, and limit or prevent the sharing of files and information. This approach can drastically reduce productivity and limit an organization’s ability to collaborate effectively. In contrast, FinTechs are entering the market unencumbered by legacy systems and processes and are taking advantage of cloud-based productivity capabilities that are both highly efficient and highly secure.


Companies in the financial services sector are faced with a choice: maintain the status quo and keep a fragmented IT ecosystem with onerous security policies, or develop a strategy to enable their workforce to operate securely using the latest innovations in productivity as a means to gain a competitive advantage.


The security and compliance tools built into Microsoft 365 can enable financial services companies to confidently modernize their IT environments by improving security and increasing productivity. Realizing that modernized IT systems can foster a more creative and productive environment is a critical first step for financial services companies to remain competitive in a fast-changing environment. But modernizing while maintaining (or increasing) security is only possible if using cloud-based solutions for security and compliance. Microsoft 365 can deliver automated, real-time security updates and enforce policies while also enabling modern work environments that foster employee productivity with functionality such as:

  • sharing documents and data to facilitate teamwork
  • automatically classifying documents and restricting accessing based on classifications to protect confidential information from leaking inadvertently
  • enabling remote access and BYOD by enabling a work environment that enforces security and compliance
  • providing secure access to key business applications, enabling employees to work wherever they are located

Microsoft 365 machine learning also enables you to detect unusual access or usage patterns and prevent access or generate alerts.


Click here to see how two customers are boosting employee engagement and customer retention while streamlining security and compliance requirements.


- Susan Kim (@iam_susankim)


[1] https://www.accenture.com/t20170926T072837Z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-61/Accenture-2017-CostCyberCrim...