Riverbed, a leader in unified observability, has announced the Financial Services and Insurance (FSI) industry results of the Riverbed Global Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Survey 2023. The survey found that today’s FSI organisations must employ the high standards of DEX to maintain their reputation, avoid risks, cut costs and retain a new generation of staff.
The research polled 1,800 global IT decision-makers (ITDMs) and business decision-makers (BDMs) across 10 countries and seven industries, including almost 300 FSI leaders. The survey explored generational expectations, hybrid work, the evolving role of IT and challenges and strategies to delivering an exceptional DEX.
As knowledge holders retire, a new generation of digital natives enters the FSI industry
“One of the biggest challenges financial services and insurance organisations face is the loss of talent – and therefore skills and knowledge – that inevitably occurs when long-standing employees leave or retire. Now, with digital natives increasingly entering the FSI workforce, it’s more critical than ever that robust DEX solutions are in place. This is not just to keep Gen Z and millennial workers productive but also to avoid risk, automate processes, ensure client financial transactions are efficient and to empower top talent to work more strategically,” said Mena Migally, Regional Vice President of Emerging EMEA at Riverbed. “Our Global DEX Survey 2023 confirmed that delivering better digital experiences is only getting harder. What’s encouraging is that most FSI leaders understand the situation at hand and are taking proactive steps to invest in technologies such as AI and unified observability, helping boost staff and customer loyalty.”
Ninety-two percent of FSI decision-makers surveyed believe they will need to provide more advanced digital experiences to meet younger employees’ needs, and the same percentage say younger generation employees place increased strain on IT resources.
FSI leaders agree failing to meet digital expectations would be disruptive
FSI leaders surveyed believe 69% of employees would consider leaving the company if an adequate DEX was not provided, and 68% say failing to meet digital expectations would be disruptive, impacting reputation, productivity or organisational performance. In an industry where seconds and even milliseconds matter, ensuring a seamless digital experience for employees and clients is critical to a financial firm’s success. In fact, 98% of leaders surveyed say delivering a seamless DEX is important (62% critically important) to remain competitive.
With heightened digital expectations and talent, productivity and competitiveness in jeopardy, almost all survey respondents in FSI (93%) say investing in DEX is among their top priorities for the next five years.
The challenges of delivering a digital experience
Today, delivering a great digital experience is getting harder, not easier. Ninety-four percent of FSI ITDMs and BDMs surveyed cited at least one major obstacle or gap to delivering a seamless DEX. Respondents to the survey identified lack of sufficient observability tools (36%), budget constraints (34%), too much data (32%), lack of appropriate SaaS or cloud services (29%) and lack of IT talent/skills (28%) as the top obstacles hindering their ability to deliver on the digital employee experience.
However, the issues hampering the digital experience can remedy themselves as FSI organisations part with reduced budget and introduce the best tools that can boost productivity, retain staff and allow employees to share and build knowledge and skills. Leaders are aware of this as 85% of the survey respondents have set aside money to retrain IT staff, and the majority overwhelmingly believe (86%) that unified observability technology with greater automation can also help close the skills gap.
Encouragingly, the survey also found that 93% of FSI IT and business leaders plan to accelerate digital experience adoption and implementation.
Empowering the digital experience in FSI with unified observability
Results show that 84% of ITDMs and BDMs in the FSI surveyed acknowledge the increasing relevance of IT within the C-suite, while 78% of ITDMs who participated said they currently have a seat at the C-suite table. Additionally, 94% of those surveyed agreed that IT is more responsible for driving business innovation now than it was three years ago.
These leaders expect technology to be an enabler to drive business and impress customers and staff. They also see technologies such as AI and unified observability playing an essential role in providing exemplary digital experiences. Of those surveyed, 95% of FSI leaders agree unified observability is important (55% critically important) to stay competitive and deliver DEX and 94% say there must be greater investment in unified observability solutions.
Other key findings from the survey:
- Nearly half (49%) of FSI leaders surveyed say a seamless digital experience is the most important factor in keeping their workforce engaged, outperforming traditional office perks such as weekly happy hours (23%), free coffee and snacks (14%) and company merchandise and giveaways (13%).
- Global FSI IT and business leaders surveyed said that over half (53%) of their employees work in a hybrid model (higher than any other industry surveyed), and 98% believe hybrid work enhances their ability to attract and retain talent – ultimately contributing to future competitiveness. As a result, 89% of those surveyed plan to invest in technology over the next 12-18 months to support this hybrid workforce.
- AI (50%), cloud (50%), application and network acceleration technology (37%), Digital Experience Management (DEM) solutions (35%) and automation (35%) are becoming increasingly business-critical in the next 18 months according to FSI business and IT leaders who participated in the survey. These established and emerging technologies are crucial for organisations looking to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.