The Benefits of Collaboration

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

For financial institutions to become more competitive and more profitable, they must embrace collaborative technologies and practices. Lucia Dore addresses some of the issues.
Technology has been pivotal to the increasing success of financial institutions, facilitating more effective and speedier processes, in the front- and back-office, and making organizations more competitive and more profitable. Indeed, banks and insurers are often amongst the early adopters of new and emerging technologies. However, there is a series question to be asked about whether technology improves communication within organizations and, more importantly, in relation to the customer – or whether it hinders it.
The answer does depend, of course, on what we mean by technology. Telephones and even computers no longer count (we simply wouldn’t survive without them) and when it comes to marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) has marked a huge leap forward in the way in which financial institutions interact with their customers. The next step in the evolution and improvement of our working practices is collaboration. The role of technology in facilitating this is an important one. Collaboration and collaborative technologies could be another leap forward for financial institutions, improving the way they communicate internally, with other organizations, and with their customers.
Collaboration at work
But what do we mean by collaborative technologies? Instant messaging (IM), e-mail, web-conferencing, video-conferencing, shared document spaces, firmwide content management systems, digital rights management and on-line syndication are all instances of collaboration at work. All these technologies allow people to interact more effectively, decisions to be made faster, customers to be understood better, deals to be transacted more transparently, and the legal and regulatory obligations to be fulfilled more efficiently. In fact, collaboration brings many of the advantages computers were supposed to bring but failed to. Until now.
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