Preparing for the Digital Revolution

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Res_ArtFully 95% of vehicle shoppers use a digital channel of some kind for research, according to Google. And much of that research takes place on the go, using smartphones — now owned by more than 173 Americans, according to digital analytics firm comScore.

In part because their smartphones are always with them, consumers are looking for more digital experiences. From ordering lunch to hailing a ride with Uber –more and more activities involving spending money happen on customers’ phones.

So how should finance companies best prepare for the digital transformation taking place among their customers and across the industry? Step one, according to Souvik Das chief information officer at Capital One Auto Finance, is to focus on the “ilities:”

Scalability: How does our technology stack scale up with business volume?

Availability: How available are we to businesses and our consumers?

Maintainability: How easy is it to manage and maintain our codebase?

It is also critical, Das advises, to have end-to-end monitoring systems in place to address failures if they occur, and anticipate support and triage needed to respond to failures as soon as possible when they do occur.

Finally, Das says, Cloud is Key. Having a cloud in place should also be a priority, as well as customizing it for your company’s needs. If your company is a Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 business — increasingly a rarity — that is different than a company where consumers visit the website at all hours or across time zones, so each company will have to determine an acceptable downtime for its cloud.

In the digital world where consumers increasingly demand 24 hour access to answers, the expectation, Das says, is “four 9s” — 99.99% uptime.

Today’s customers have expectations molded by companies like Amazon, Apple, and and Zappo’s.  Lenders must aspire to connect as deeply with customers as these customers manage to do, entirely over digital channels.

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