We’ll answer the question above by looking at an example from the financial services sector, one that's relevant to any industry with digital customers.
Revolut is one of the shining success stories of digital disruptors. Launched in 2015, the UK neobank’s customer base has grown exponentially — it has over 28 million customers and counting, spanning four continents.
The company offers debit cards, savings options, insurance and much more, giving its customers access to the services offered by traditional banking providers. But where Revolut has offered a genuine point of distinction is how it uses technology to make these services more accessible, convenient and engaging than ever for customers.
This has forced legacy brands to sit up, take note and commit significant resources to combat the new vision of what a financial services company should deliver to its customers. Huge brands, making huge investments in modernising their offerings to catch Revolut.
Revolut operates in the financial services area. However, its digital-first approach is consistent among challenger brands across an enormous range of sectors and the need to respond to this is essential in numerous industries.
But could now be a crucial moment in the battle between digital disruptors and legacy brands? Revolut has encountered issues that might impact the speed of its growth — at the time of writing, it doesn't have a banking licence in its home market and has also seen the departure of a number of senior leadership figures.
Now can be a crucial moment, if historic companies ramp up the pace of their good work towards matching the digital disruptors in their sectors. We've highlighted four tech focus points, all of which should be on the agenda for modern enterprises. Editor's note: We’ve used examples and stats from the financial services sector throughout this blog post. This is to keep things consistent with our reference to the success of Revolut and the response of legacy brands to it. As we highlighted, the tech focus points are appropriate for all industries with digital customers.
If there's an area of tech that acts as the battlefield in the fight between digital disruptors and legacy companies then it's customer experience (CX). Because its focus is the prize each side wants to win: customers. Indeed, without needing to look closely, you'll see the influence of CX peeking out from some of the other focus points we've highlighted.
But what does CX mean for a modern enterprise? It's the experience customers have during all their interactions with their provider, at every stage of their lifecycle. With customers only becoming more digitally mature, this means brands must deliver outstanding experiences across all their platforms, app and website, ones that are evermore user-focused and hyper-personalised. Related Read: 4 Keys to Digital Customer Experience Design
Financial services businesses are already pouring massive amounts of money into data and analytics. Finextra reports that the figure is expected to reach $150 billion by 2024, representing an increase of 150% over a five-year period. This makes complete sense because if companies want to outstrip their rivals then they must learn more about their customers and business operations, something they do by extracting and analysing data.
There are many ways legacy brands can benefit from data and analytics. These include automating and optimising processes, fraud detection and prevention, predicting market trends and changes, customer segmentation, hyper-personalisation and more. With industry investment levels rising and the benefits of doing so widening, financial services brands must make data and analytics a key tech focus point. Related Read: The Data-Dollar Disconnect
Digital disruptors offer slick and consistent experiences for their customers. They can rapidly release new features across all their platforms (web, Android and iOS) that look and feel the same. This has presented a major issue for legacy brands with different teams that build native solutions for each platform, with this approach hindering feature parity and increasing their time to market. Cross-platform development solves this issue.
Cross-platform development uses a single codebase for application development, so it can be built once and deployed to multiple platforms. This makes it quicker to get new features to market and also ensures there’s consistency across web, Android and iOS. It also helps reduce the cost of delivering new features to customers, as it simplifies the process of development and means companies don’t need to hire separate developers for each platform. Related Read: How Cross-Platform App Development Reduces TCO
Many traditional financial services companies have been cautious about leveraging cloud solutions. It’s understandable, given the strict regulations and intense focus on security within the industry. However, this reservation has been draining away as legacy brands acknowledge not only the safety of moving to the cloud, but the necessity of doing so. Indeed, Forbes makes the point that a motivation for moving to the cloud is to “respond quickly to regulatory changes”, adding that this is “not something native to non-cloud infrastructure”.
Cloud-native applications offer scalable and reliable software solutions. They provide a means of automating processes and deployments without sacrificing security, stability and regulatory compliance. Furthermore, using cloud solutions enables companies to modernise their tech stacks and offerings, such as leveraging AI technologies and gaining greater insight into their customers. There is a real financial consideration to utilising cloud solutions. However, when used correctly, they accelerate a company’s journey to becoming a truly modern digital organisation . Related Read: Engineering End-to-End Velocity in the Cloud