Gartner published a list of technology trends for 2021.
- Internet of Behaviors
- Total Experience
- Privacy-Enhancing Computation
- Distributed Cloud
- Anywhere Operations
- Cybersecurity Mesh
- Intelligent composable business
- AI Engineering
The list has a number of compelling trends to watch, but one stands out that many industries, particularly finance, should pay attention to: Anywhere Operations.
Defined as a company's ability to operate effectively anywhere, especially outside the office, Anywhere Operations is something that nearly all companies have had to address since the 2020 pandemic made it dangerous to be in the office together.
Since then, companies have used new and old technologies and processes to effectively move workers home and reestablish how the business worked. The rise of Zoom meetings and Zoom fatigue is a well-established meme by now. Over the last year or so, company operations and cultures have adjusted to a new way of being.
Along with that is a phenomenon that financial-industry companies should watch to better serve their customers. Nearly all financial companies offer solutions to their customers that are essentially touchless, nearly SaaS experiences. The real change, which is still taking shape, is how customer behavior will, and has changed, given that most people work from home now.
In the past, it was harder for people to take their home life into work, and most tried not to take too much work life back home. It's inevitable for many jobs that there is some overlap. But now that many workers are home all the time, with many companies saying that there may never be a full return to the office, those worker-customers now live a much more blended work-to-life experience.
To that end, there is something to be learned from the new patterns of behavior that being home allow with respect to customer's relationship to a financial firm. The most likely changes will come from having more access, more frequently, throughout the day. If your customer interactions used to ebb, flow, and peak outside of the 9-5, it's likely that behavior has changed. The opportunity is to look at what could be different and better about your customer experience for those customers who are logging in and perhaps staying logged in where before they might have logged in and out quicker and with more targeted goals in mind.
The opportunities for an always-connected, monitoring user journey will increase with an at-home workforce. Financial-industry companies, with access to mountains of constantly changing data, can offer new kinds of experiences and journeys for customers that would not have existed pre-2020. This new set of behaviors has a chance to disrupt how companies think of their customer interactions and open the possibility for new, richer kinds of experiences.