Despite positive experiences of remote working within the Financial Services industry, and feelings of increased productivity, collaboration remains a key challenge. Diaries are packed full of video conference calls, and e-mails arrive faster than they can be actioned. As such, employees are looking for new ways to collaborate.

To enable strong collaboration, it is essential that all employees have access to the same information, and are talking about the same things. Standardising processes is becoming increasingly important, as is strong data governance (i.e. having clear definitions around data, and golden sources from which it should be accessed). Similarly, organisations are exploiting enhanced file sharing or content management solutions; especially those which enable collaborative editing of documents and strong audit trails / version control.

The need for collaboration can be reduced through process automation. The less manual interventions there are in processes, the less collaboration those processes require. Consequently businesses are: enhancing system integrations; automating reconciliations and data transformation; digitising documents; removing end user computing (EUCs) from their systems landscapes; and automating report production and submission. Without this focus, inaccessible EUCs and off-system processes can be a significant barrier to working effectively as a team.

As diary space is at a premium, teams are looking for alternative ways to converse, collate and share information. Instant messages can be an unwanted interruption, so users are embracing message boards and chat applications, as well as survey and crowd sourcing tools. They are also managing tasks through shared lists and Kanban boards, using collaborative note taking products, and building bodies of shared knowledge through structured Wikis.

Finally, teams can't collaborate if they can't access their corporate systems, so home hardware and infrastructure, as well as VPNs, remote desktops, Cloud computing, and the resilience and security of these environments, have never been more important. 

If you would like further information on any of the above, please contact our Technology Strategy and Architecture team.