Balance Trust, Access and Security with Digital Transformation

Case study: Italian financial services firm undergoes digital transformation.

In the past 10 years, the financial services industry has encountered a digital transformation greater than the one introduced by the inception of the internet. Customers have changed their mode of consuming financial services, due to the increasing influence of digital into their lives. They now expect to receive banking services 24x7 and at various touchpoints with a seamless experience, and they want a more personalized and real-time fulfillment of services.

FinTech companies have emerged, withdrawing from the traditional mechanism of offering financial services and using digital technologies to serve the customers with greater transparency and inclusiveness. Their disruption has pushed financial service companies to develop the distribution and delivery systems that provide information and services to customers whenever they need it. Financial services now see digital as the key technology to expand their customer base and increase retention rate. “Digital platforms such as social media platforms have allowed us to interact with our customers and offer them personalized experience. This is important as we are enabled to develop long-term relationships with them and earn customer loyalty,” explains the Director of Information Technology at a major Italian financial institution.

Competition and the desire to improve the customer experience is prompting a need for ever faster and more efficient business processes. Indeed, business process improvement is one of the key objectives that this leading company is focusing on. To meet this objective, a Business Process Management project has been commissioned to digitally map out the business processes that have functional gaps and highlight how lead times can be cut. This has allowed the company to reduce miscommunication and human error along with improving performance. Digital technologies have also enabled greater visibility and monitoring of business processes to reduce inefficiency and improve the customer experience. “I believe digital technologies have also contributed to strengthening our efficiency and productivity as well as streamlining our business processes,” he explained. The company has also used business intelligence platforms to transform raw data from different segments into valuable insight to deliver customer value.

"Digital platforms such as social media platforms have allowed us to interact with our customers and offer them personalized experience. This is important as we are enabled to develop long-term relationships with them and earn customer loyalty."

Director, Information Technology

This company, like others, has invested in the technologies needed to enhance the experience of their customers and meet their expectations seamlessly. Services are offered through various digital touchpoints such as interactive kiosks, Smart ATMs, mobile applications, smart wallet and customer feedback applications, providing a true omni-channel approach. While banks have long been providing online banking, now mobile internet banking is a core part of their offering. The omni-channel approach encouraged the company to develop its own mobile payment application, MOBO, available in several European countries. The digital bank was launched in recent years and is a pillar for business growth. “We will be expanding our digital bank. At the same time, we will also incorporate more digital transformation for our traditional banking system,” he said.

Taking into account the increased need for customers to engage with brands and get information online, the company already interacts with its customers via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. To increase customer loyalty and retention further, the intention is to develop deeper interactions with customers by organizing online chatting sessions, and using digital methods to assist clients with financial matters.

Another effect of digital disruption is the increasing role of big data. “In the last decade, data integration and interpretation has become extremely vital,” said the Information Technology Director. Big data analytic tools help draw insights into customer behavior and expectations, and play an increasingly important role in the process of designing relevant business strategies.

But while companies are increasingly relying on digital technologies, risks are escalating with regard to both the collection of accurate data in larger volumes and ensuring this data is sufficiently protected. “With massive amounts of data being shared in the cloud, concerns regarding the confidentiality and vulnerability of cyber-attacks have become a key issue for us,” he added.

"Data will remain one of the most valuable assets for any company and protecting it will always be on the priority list."

Director, Information Technology

Security concerns are heightened by the interconnectivity of devices and systems, and the multiplication of devices that customers use to connect to the systems. Customers’ use of mobile devices that are always on and actively connected opens up multiple channels for hackers to enter the information system. “This has raised serious concerns about theft of data and IT security,” he explained. In 10 years, cyber-attacks have evolved from malwares designed to create disruption in the systems to operations aimed at causing reputational damage and financial losses due to the leakage of personal data.

To counter these risks, more investment is required across a wide range of security tools. The company combines security investment with internal diligence. No cyber-attack is left unacknowledged and the business always comes up with counter measures after investigating instances of security breaches.

Another aspect of IT security relates to authenticating that individuals are who they say they are, regardless of their location or the device they are using. This has led to advancements and adoption of approaches such as identity-centric security. Identity-centric security associates the identity of the user with their right to information, effectively providing tailored access to information. “I believe identity-centric security is a response to the increasing flow of information by different users across different digital technologies,” he said.

In the future, the ever-increasing flow and collection of data will require a continued focus on security to ensure it is protected. “Data will remain one of the most valuable assets for any company and protecting it will always be on the priority list,” he concludes.

About the research

This case study is based on a September, 2016, interview with an Information Technology Director in an Italian Financial Services company conducted by Coleman Parkes research and sponsored by CA Technologies. For more information about this research, read Keeping Score: Why Digital Transformation Matters.

About CA Technologies

CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) creates software that fuels transformation for companies and enables them to seize the opportunities of the application economy. Software is at the heart of every business in every industry. From planning to development to management and security, CA is working with companies worldwide to change the way we live, transact and communicate—across mobile, private and public cloud, distributed and mainframe environments. Learn more at

About Coleman Parkes Research

Coleman Parkes Research specializes in recruiting and interviewing senior-level respondents across multiple global markets, vertical sectors and functional areas for a wide range of clients. From thought leadership research for PR and marketing campaigns to analyzing win/loss opportunities, testing product messages and conducting in-depth senior executive interviews, we do it all. Coleman Parkes Research works collaboratively with clients to formulate proven strategies that generate market insight based on individual requirements and key hypotheses.

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