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How FinServs Can Cut Costs and Boost Efficiency With Out-of-the-Box Solutions

Investing in an out-of-the-box technology solution and harnessing automation will cut costs and boost efficiencies. Here’s how.

Think a bespoke technology solution will make you a leaner business? Think again. In our latest research with BCG, The Reset, we hear from financial services leaders about how adopting out-of-the-box solutions can lower costs, drive efficiency and strengthen customer relationships.

The reality of bespoke technology platforms 

Ask CTOs and other financial services executives why they gravitate towards bespoke technology solutions and the same sentiment might crop up: tailor-made software platforms are more reliable than out-of-the-box alternatives. 

This assumption is understandable: after all, no two financial services institutions (FSIs) are exactly alike, and investing in a tailored tech build seems like a smart way to optimise your organisation’s point of difference, whether that difference is an internal process or a customer-facing benefit.

In reality, though, custom technology builds can have significant drawbacks. In addition to the hefty development cost, bespoke solutions are expensive to maintain; can become unwieldy as an organisation’s needs and priorities change and can place huge pressure on the internal IT teams responsible for troubleshooting and providing support to other employees.In Salesforce and BCG’s new research report The Reset, we expanded on how bespoke technology platforms may actually be counterproductive for organisations looking to cut costs and increase efficiencies. Leaders from AMP also weighed in on its experience using custom-made technology compared with an out-of-the-box solution.

Want to learn how to cut costs and boost efficiencies?

Download The Reset to learn how.

Driving down costs using out-of-the-box technology

In The Reset, AMP discusses how the drawbacks of custom-made technology became clear when the organisation tried to add new functionality to its bespoke platforms. The company found that because bespoke solutions required a high-level of code proficiency, the cost to maintain and change it cost almost as much as the build itself. 

Lester Chua, Head of Technology, Digital and Customer Channels at AMP shares how when AMP decided instead to adopt an out-of-the-box Salesforce solution, progress was swift. At the time, business units across the organisation were collectively standardising hundreds of paper forms, and Chua says the introduction of a low-code/no-code (LC/NC) platform empowered each unit to do so independently, with minimal support from IT. 

The out-of-the-box solution may not have been bespoke but, according to Chua, it was simpler to use and still delivered an outcome above the industry standard.

Boosting productivity through upskilling and to training

Bespoke technology solutions are, by their very nature, limited in terms of accessibility and useability. Even if a bespoke solution is designed to be utilised by an entire workforce, platform-specific training and onboarding is generally required, and this training must be repeated whenever a new employee joins the organisation.

By contrast, out-of-the-box solutions are designed with accessibility and useability front-of-mind. Initial training for teams is minimal, and the low-code/no-code nature of the platforms means they can be leveraged by business units organisation-wide, creating more opportunities for innovation. What’s more, those employees wishing to upskill can access training and learning content that may not have been developed for a bespoke platform.

In the case of AMP, migrating to an out-of-the-box platform allowed business units to make changes to procedures and workflow with minimal reliance on its IT department. 

“We standardised the development of our forms and focused on enabling clickable change that could be owned long-term by our business units,” says Chua. 

The Salesforce platform’s superior usability empowered employees, encouraging them to take charge of tasks and find their own solutions. In The Reset, our research points to three ways to accelerate value creation using a modern technology platform. AMP is a great example of these accelerants in action. By democratising access to technology platforms thanks to low-code/no-code solutions, everyone could make clickable changes without having to rely on an IT team. AMP also embraced change management, especially when it comes to cultivating skills and capabilities within operational teams.

Rather than try to keep innovating on commoditised digital components, we can rely on vendors to do the hard work, and we leverage the benefits at less cost and risk.

Lester Chua
Head of Technology, Digital and
Customer Channels at AMP

Driving innovation while cutting costs

At a time of significant financial volatility, FSIs face a daunting challenge: they must continue to develop sector-leading products and solutions while simultaneously becoming more productive and efficient internally.

It’s moments like this when harnessing out-of-the-box solutions can have the biggest impact. Organisations can acquire tools that enable teams to cut costs, automate tasks, enhance productivity and improve efficiency.

AMP’s experience with bespoke platforms was far less beneficial. While it was possible to build custom solutions for the platforms, doing so was expensive, and the code-based solutions were a drag on productivity, efficiency and automation.

Having switched to an out-of-the-box solution, AMP is projecting significant cost savings over the next five years and a reduction in IT maintenance and change hours of 60%. 

According to Chua, switching to out-of-the-box has encouraged a climate of innovation internally and enabled teams to focus on improving AMP’s product and service offering.

“Rather than try to keep innovating on commoditised digital components, we can rely on vendors to do the hard work, and we leverage the benefits at less cost and risk,” says Chua.

Download The Reset for practical guidance on achieving a successful transformation

Achieving true digital transformation

Digital transformation is all too often defined as boosting an organisation’s raw technological capabilities. But as AMP and other FSIs have found, acquiring cutting-edge tools is of limited benefit if those tools are difficult to use and expensive to maintain. 

A smarter goal may be to empower your workforce by deploying digital platforms and tools that allow them to achieve more in their roles. Out-of-the-box digital solutions allow firms to start at a radically different starting point, giving them the tools they need to automate low-skill tasks and improve workflow. This, in turn, creates the necessary headroom to focus on strategic, high-value initiatives.

As with any organisation, your people are your greatest asset. Giving them accessible tools that help them reach their full potential puts your organisation at a formidable advantage.

To learn how other APAC organisations are harnessing technology to lower costs, increase productivity and enhance efficiency, download the Salesforce x BCG report, The Reset.

Read more

BCG and Salesforce research charts how Financial Services organisations are accelerating digital transformation so they can deliver greater business value, faster.

Shreya Sethi

Shreya Sethi is Senior Director and Head of Financial Services, Business Value Services, at Salesforce Australia and New Zealand.

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