For banks to take advantage of SMAC, they will need a bit of imagination:
XYZ Bank is a new entrant in the Australian market. It runs the bank using a core banking platform hosted in the cloud via a software-as-a-service vendor that manages all upgrades, enhancements and compliance obligations remotely. The remainder of the bank’s internal systems and applications are run on a mix of private and public clouds, with XYZ owning none of its own infrastructure.
XYZ focuses on a multi-channel approach, giving the customer a consistent experience across all the channels. That said, all user interfaces are designed for mobile first, while traditional banking services are available on channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The bank’s staff engage and encourage dialogue with customers via social networks.
XYZ automatically provides better pricing or fee reductions for customers that have multiple accounts with the bank, without the customer or sales people having to intervene.
XYZ generates a great deal of data on the behaviours of its customers. The bank subscribes to a hosted predictive analytics service from a vendor that combines the structured data XYZ has on its customers with unstructured data the vendor derives from external sources. The vendor delivers insights in near real time, and XYZ uses this information to provide value-added offers to customers.
Customers might be offered a specialised insurance package as they log onto mobile banking, for example, with the premium based on information XYZ has been able to glean. Purchases made with an XYZ retail partner using an XYZ credit card could attract bonus reward points, with sales generated using location-based services.
Insights generated from the predictive analytics vendor also enables XYZ to provide tailored financial information, budgeting and advice to its customers. The basic services are free, but as the advice gets more advanced, XYZ is able to charge for this service.
My advice for Australian financial services organisations who don’t already have a SMAC strategy? Get your IT and business strategy teams together now and start the process of developing one.
Use scenario-based planning. Start with what you want to achieve from a business perspective, identify and prioritise the capabilities you need to develop, identify how you are going to develop the capabilities and then create the projects to do so.
Once you are ready, test the market and don’t forget to refine and adapt as you go along. As with any good strategy you need to engage with key stakeholders throughout the process to bring everyone along on the journey.
Your SMAC strategy should show how you can provide products and services to your customers via mobile and social channels while at the same time delivering these much faster and at a lower price point through the smart use of cloud providers. It should also show how the use of analytics on both structured and unstructured data will enable you to fine tune your offerings and adapt to customer preferences.
Remember, the important thing here is to look at how each of these elements interact and work with each other. The premise of SMAC is that using the elements in combination leads to a multiplier effect that results in better outcomes for the customer and better outcomes for the organisation.
Jeff Jacobs is a Sydney-based technology executive and IT consultant with over 25 years experience in senior IT positions with AMP, Zurich, CBA and most recently as the CTO of Westpac.