In many ways, the financial services sector has been moving IT service management technology forward. Banks, credit unions, investment firms, etc., are engaged in cutthroat competition with each other. To win, financial organizations must deliver digitally connected services that are innovative and meet the modern expectations of their end users. However, these organizations are also under pressure to not only provide fast and reliable functionality to their users, but they must also plan for stringent compliance auditing, mitigate risk, and ensure that vulnerable customer data isn't compromised.
With these challenges, IT decision-makers for financial organizations must be precise with their IT Service Management strategies. To be successful, it's essential to plan a roadmap for implementation that not only prioritizes strong ITIL-based best practices for services, support and compliance, but also remains flexible enough to support the latest customer-facing technologies to compete with disruptive business models. Here are the three ITSM challenges that financial organizations must overcome when planning an effective ITSM strategy.
Avoiding Unplanned Downtime
Maintaining strong, reliable services with minimal interruptions is critical to deliver quality service and support for end users. Customers of financial organizations demand constant, "always-on" access to IT resources and self-service portals, unplanned service outages may result in low user retention, security concerns, and regulatory penalties.
In order to prevent service downtime, IT organizations must prioritize management of their system configuration infrastructure, as well as any critical system applications and their dependencies. Change managers should use real-time automations to track and approve system changes, so that any unforeseen risks or contingencies are dealt before occurring. These processes can circumvent disastrous service outages that often result from unregulated changes in the system.
Maintaining Regulatory Compliance
Like many industries that manage and facilitate sensitive data, finance is beholden to rigid regulatory compliance standards that cannot be ignored when planning your ITSM strategy. Compliance standards for financial industries such as PCI, SOX, and other compliance standards must be managed properly, or the organization risks can potentially be subjected to hefty regulatory penalties. The consequences
of with poor governance of compliance requirements are simply out of the question for most firms. However, being too rigid can also spell disaster for your budget and staff resources, which could negatively impact service operations.
By investing in change management controls that can automate historical change audits, IT organizations can ease compliance preparation, saving time, cost and reducing risk for the business. Automating these processes can also help the organization to move faster and promote IT agility.
Risk and Security Concerns
In addition to maintaining compliance, risk and security concerns of customer data are also a critical component for IT organizations. Customers need to be ensured that systems and services that they interact with are safe and that their sensitive data remains secure.
IT organizations must use ITSM solutions that best utilize encryption standards such as SSL and redaction that keeps sensitive data such as bank information, social security numbers, names, addresses, etc., secure from cyberattacks and vulnerabilities.
It's imperative for banks and other financial institutions to not lose sight of their most important challenges when planning an effective ITSM strategy or tool solution implementation. By establishing best practices for financial institutions and setting mandates for change management initiatives, you will help to overcome compliance and security concerns within the organization.