Is Your Financial Services Organization Returning to the Office?

The question in almost every financial services organization today is all about what the return to the office will look like.

Some organizations are continuing to let their employees work from home indefinitely, some have mandated rules to come back into the office full- or part-time, and still others remain undecided.

Regardless of what your financial services organization decides to do in the long term, it’s important to put your IT needs front and center.

After all, if left on the back burner, poorly executed IT strategies to enable remote or hybrid work environments can lead to security breaches, excessive downtime, lower productivity, and most importantly, a lack of customer trust.

Security considerations

Varying work environments — the office, home, client offices, and coffee shops, for example — open your company’s IT systems up to potential security threats. Employees may use external networks to access internal systems or use their own devices to access company data.

It’s vital to have an IT security strategy in place that takes into account the different ways in which employees may work and the potential risks of each work environment. Role-based access controls, multi-factor identity authentication, and governance policies can help financial services organizations protect their employees and their data — no matter where people work.

Operational and logistical considerations

Have you ever tried to access an internal system from an external location and been frustrated by how incredibly slow everything is? Remote or hybrid work can have a considerable impact on employee productivity — which no doubt affects customer service and response times. Not only that, financial services organizations must also ensure their IT infrastructure complies with compliance regulations and data privacy regulations, regardless of where or how employees work.

In order to ensure your teams can provide customers with the support they need at all hours of the day, it’s vital to ensure that the software, hardware, networks, and other infrastructure can handle remote or hybrid workloads for the long term.

Cultural considerations

Believe it or not, a financial service organization’s culture is related to its IT policies. If you’re asking how, consider these questions: How often are employees provided training on the latest cybersecurity threats? Are they allowed to use their own devices to access company applications? Do employees complain of slow speeds when working from home or from the road?

The IT department has broader business implications than just making sure the hardware or software works effectively. When deciding on whether or not to have employees come back to the office, financial services organizations must include IT leaders at the highest levels to ensure they can support the business’ overall culture.

Be ready for whatever plans you have for the future with this self assessment.

Whether your financial services organization has definitively decided to return to the office, committed to hybrid, or are still working things out, make sure your IT systems can handle whatever you throw at them.

Download the financial services IT Self Assessment to evaluate whether your IT department can help the company reach its goals — or whether it will be a liability in the future.