Search ‘trends in Financial Services’ and the internet will spit out millions of results. This information is readily available and provides many insights from multiple sources, with multiple viewpoints. As a business within this sector, it is easy to identify what needs to be done. So, the WHAT is clear, and the WHY is also clearly articulated.
But HOW? How do I, as a business, take advantage of industry and global trends?
In a world where the rate of technology is advancing at a lightning pace never seen before, it is easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by the business opportunities and possibilities that can be created.
Satisfying a fickle market
The challenge is: where do I start? I mean, there are platforms and tools that will help us reach our clients, no matter where they are, and offer them customized offers that speak directly to their needs.
Not only do we need to focus on providing these options to our customers in an increasingly competitive landscape, where customers have access to information and can be quite fickle on how they make decisions. But we must also empower our workforce to be as competitive as possible and respond to customer and market trends to not only satisfy our existing clients but attract new ones and penetrate new markets.
The dark side of doing business
These activities lead to additional challenges where fraud and cybercrime need to be accounted for. These days bank robbers don’t need to wear masks and hold people up at a physical bank and worry about having getaway drivers to evade the authorities. In fact, the value of data outweighs the value of the cash in the vaults.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that whilst all this is going on, we need to focus on sustainable business practices focusing on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors to drive sustainable finance and business.
Sjoe, that’s a lot to think about. That’s a lot to do. Kind of overwhelming don’t you think?
Dividing the load
Organizations do have plans to account for all these factors. But like any significant workload, the efforts are divided amongst business units, and people to ensure focus. In this regard, internally focused teams and people may not have all the necessary skills and expertise required to drive success. This is where external consulting companies, vendors, and partners play a big role. Finding the right partnerships is also challenging, as you need to find synergies with your work processes and company culture to ensure success.
It is also key to note that finding a partnership that will provide a silver bullet to provide all services and skills is quite honestly not possible. As a global SI, we at Mint hold multiple competencies, however, we know that we are not everything to everybody and have delivered projects successfully through partnerships with other Microsoft partners, as well as with niche point solution ISVs.
Partnering for the greater good
The benefit of partnering is to counter the challenges we are all facing regarding skills. There is a global skills shortage and South Africa is feeling the pinch. The local skills pool is getting smaller as highly skilled people are being headhunted with the promise of earning Dollars and Euros. The digital economy is here and is showing no signs of letting up.
So, to take advantage of global trends and drive our businesses forward, we need to consider partnering with technology and corporate responsibility players who specialize in specific areas. These are the people who have done this before and have a broader view of possibilities, and limitations, and are not blinkered in their approach, as they have learned lessons from engaging in these solutions with various clients.
Giving back. Together
Partnerships are found within all challenges facing Financial Services, including ESG. A prime example of a tangible partnership is our Sekolo sa Dinaledi Trust. As part of our higher purpose of empowering everyone to reach their full potential, Mint Group has an established trust that provides its full attention to addressing problems in our community and creating channels to give back.
The Sekolo sa Dinaledi Trust was established in 2017 and focuses on upliftment initiatives for the Ekukhanyeni Relief Project. Sekolo sa Dinaledi has created a haven for our community to connect on a human level and to have somewhere to turn to when they are in search of support and growth. For us to reach our goal to get 500 000 children through its ECD centers by 2030, through our Ekukhanyeni Relief Project, partnerships our key.
Partnerships are the key to scale and driving success within organizations. Without them, opportunities will be missed, and human capital will be exhausted.