Financial Businesses Embrace the Digital Workspace

The financial services industry has always stretched technology to advance business goals, and that’s still true today according to new research. Financial services organizations have been quicker than many other industries to recognize the potential for the digital workspace to improve operations and drive competitive advantage.

The secure digital workspace is creating new opportunities for all businesses to streamline processes, deliver enhanced customer experiences, and increase revenues. But executives in financial services organizations, in particular, have more quickly recognized the potential for this engaging technology to improve operations and drive competitive advantage.

To find out more about how financial services firms are faring as they embrace digital transformation, VMware conducted its second annual survey of global business decision makers and IT practitioners to gauge progress and explore challenges. More than 1,500 respondents, including 328 from financial organizations, provided information about their digital workspace journeys.

The findings are presented in VMware’s State of the Digital Workspace Report.

Financial Firms Enthusiastically Embrace the Digital Workspace
While the financial industry can’t boast about starting the most digital workspace initiatives in the 12 months leading up to the survey—that claim goes to the technology industry—it does lead other industries in the number of initiatives successfully executed. Of the 14 most common initiatives, financial institutions lead the way in 9, including enabling mission-critical apps for mobile, shifting to a new desktop architecture, and leveraging the cloud for file sharing. Successful executions of digital workspace initiatives in financial businesses are running at 7–8 percent higher than in other industries (see infographic below).

Investment in these initiatives is also rising in this sector, with financial services organizations experiencing the highest deployment of mobile device management software, mobile content management software, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Financial businesses are also more likely to execute over 100 digital workspace initiatives in the next 12 months. This is encouraging news for financial services employees and customers eager to engage and transact with innovative institutions. The survey results show that businesses executing 10 or more initiatives show stronger improvements across business, operational, and financial categories than organizations executing fewer than 10 initiatives, and those benefits improve as the number of successfully executed initiatives increases.

Security at the Forefront
Security and compliance are critical issues in highly-regulated financial environments. Security concerns are the most important barrier to investment in digital workspace software for 49 percent of executives across all industries, and financial businesses are particularly concerned about compliance and access management (see infographic below).

A significant majority (81 percent) of financial firms also agree that their organization’s security rules dictate policies that restrict access to mobile tools and applications outside normal working hours, slowing the roll out of bring your own device (BYOD) and choose your own device (CYOD) programs.

These concerns are reflected in the technology solutions that financial services organizations are adopting. The most common successfully executed digital transformation initiative for the financial industry is the deployment of a security product for mobile devices (43 percent).

Identity Management Key to Overcoming Challenges
Deployment of identity management software is also high. In fact, it’s higher in the financial industry than in any other and is seen by 43 percent of financial executives as a vital element in creating a successful digital workspace platform, compared with 37 percent of respondents across all industries.

Financial services organizations see identity management software as the most effective tool in their effort to control and protect access to apps, systems, and data. It ensures—through mechanisms including single sign-on, policy-based access controls, and authentication—that people only have access to the data or programs necessary for their work. Increasingly, financial businesses are using identity management software to provide full visibility into systems and safeguard the integrity of highly sensitive data.

What’s Next for the Digital Workspace in Financial Services?
VMware expects the industry’s focus on security and compliance, along with the operational benefits of mobility, will continue to drive investment in digital workspace technology. The digital workspace is already making its mark, and its potential for future innovation and improved business outcomes is clearly understood by executives.

ANZ Bank, for example, now says it’s in the business of delivering great customer experience and that there are two ways to do that: one through people and the other through technology, but the intersection of those two is really where the gold is. That’s where the transformation and benefits are happening.

For more information about how healthcare organizations are advancing on their digital workspace journeys, download the “Spotlight on Financial Services” infographic, and download the full State of the Digital Workspace Report 2016.

VMware Financial Services infographic