Viraj Shah, Leader- Business Solution, Acies

Viraj leads Acies’ Business Solutions practice, enabling clients to leverage the power of new-age technologies to drive efficiencies in process & workflow digitization, performance management, data management and data analytics. In her current role, Viraj works closely with leading financial institutions and corporates to support their digital innovation programs. She specializes in redesigning technology and data architectures that leverage next-generation technologies to deliver timely and cost-effective automation across a range of use-cases. Over her career, Viraj has led treasury, data management, system selection and process automation engagements for multiple financial services and corporate clients. She is passionate about harnessing the power of modern technologies to solve complex business challenges and has worked with global developmental agencies to redesign credit operating models to bring greater transparency to credit sanction for microfinance institutions.

 

The pace of innovation required is one of the most glaring realities of the banking and financial services industry today. The need to tap the ‘digital-first’ generation brings with it a constant and evolutionary relook at the transaction processing procedures, new product development and business models in the sector. To add to this, there is also a need to quickly and timely respond or adapt the products and processes to the dynamic regulatory landscape in which this industry operates. Incumbents have been grappling with the challenges of a legacy technology infrastructure along with heavily overburdened IT and tech teams, which hampers its ability to respond to this requirement of innovation. 

No-code solves this. By replacing the coding layer which acted as a human-machine interface with a visual layer, the ability and ownership of tech development is in the hands of the business rather than the IT teams. This is very powerful because the benefit and need for the development are well understood and established, and the dependence on IT teams to deliver is significantly reduced. The challenges of skilled tech labour and constant churn in the tech teams also becomes a non-issue. 

No-code platforms provide the road to speed digital transformation and broaden product development. Without the traditional challenges of legacy and complex tech development and lengthy development, UAT and deployment cycles, development is truly democratized and innovation in business teams is fostered. Incumbents of an industry which have always grappled with the pressures of staying relevant in the face of new-age FinTech, RegTech and customer expectations for better service delivery levels can finally have the power and ability to stay relevant and respond to the needs of the market. 

No-code platforms are a panacea to the challenges and problems facing this sector today. However, as good as the idea and the concept sound, like most, the true benefits of this lies in the execution of a well thought out strategy and plan for adoption of no-code platforms as the model of choice for digital transformation and tech innovation. Some of the key points to keep in mind while devising the execution strategy are:

  • Move from desktop or user-specific adoption to enterprise-wide adoption: 

Business and tech leaders in the organization need to work together to make sure no-code is deployed as an enterprise-wide application rather than a desktop tool for users accompanied by formal training and management controls. This ensures the right governance and control for applications that get built while fostering the right kind and pace of innovation for business. No-code platforms need to be deployed as part of the process and control fabric of the organization so technical risk is also adequately mitigated in the organization.

  • Develop and foster a strong and collaborative business and technical relationship: 

No-code platforms are quite new in the market today. Even though the technology has been available for some time, its use in mainstream application development for organizations is recent. Leaders within the organization will have to make sure that their technology teams understand that supporting these platforms will allow them to focus their scarce capacity on complex and technical governance tasks rather than spending time and effort on automating generic business processes which is the case today.

  • Start with the simple everyday tasks and move up from there

A great starting point to get no-code platforms integrated as an organization-wide DNA is to start with the generic manual tasks which need to be automated. This includes the layer of manual, paper and email processes that exist over and above the core transaction systems such as customer document collection and customer servicing. Once the teams get used to the platform and the underlying technology, more complex processes and requirements covering new product development can be looked at. 

At the heart of digital transformation for the banking and financial services sector is the ability to make big changes and reinvent business processes along with using techniques like AI/ ML to drive actionable insights for business decisions. With the power of no-code being able to bring the speed of innovation to the forefront and in the hands of the business users, incumbents can be well-positioned to combat their nimble footed and tech-savvy counterparts in the industry. 

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