Digital Assurance is the weakest link in the Digital Transformation of the BFSI sector

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Even before the unprecedented times of COVID-19, disruption was the name of the game in the Banking, Financial, & Insurance services industries.

Whether it be the well-established wave of digital transformation, ever-increasing customer expectations, evolving regulations or the proliferation of competition from the new entrants of digital-native challengers, there was no escape for any BFSI organization – either adapt, evolve, and transform, or risk becoming a Model-T in the age of sports cars and hybrids.

In other words, the wake-up call sounded years ago. Covid-19 and the new world in which we live has simply magnified the necessity, and compounded the urgency, to accelerate digital transformation.

But just as the back pressure on BFSI organizations to transform has exacerbated, so have the challenges that these organizations face in successfully rolling out such initiatives.

If Six Sigma was predictive of anything, it was the consequence of ‘First Time Right’. (Yes, we had to dust off our old Six Sigma textbooks for that reference. And yes, I am changing the textbook version of FTR to fit the narrative of this blog.)

As evidence, 55% of users blame the mobile app AND the brand on performance issues regardless of the actual cause, while 56% of users will abandon an app after two failed attempts of what they view as functionality that should work as they expect it to work.

The writing on the wall is clear (and it is written in all caps…in bold): deliver innovation, deliver it fast, and deliver it good, great! Customer satisfaction will be based on nothing less.

So why after all this time – after all digital in Banking started way back when in the 1960s with the advent of ATMs in banking, progressed through the 1980s and early 1990’s with the proliferation of broadband and the internet, and continues to significantly evolve in current day – are BFSI organizations still struggling to achieve faster/smarter/better?

There are many layers of the answer to this question, but certainly one of the first layers – often underappreciated – is the lack of preparedness and execution of their Digital Assurance strategies (assuming they have even defined one).

Digital Assurance is the process, tools, platforms, and skilled resources (yes, we still need people) that jointly ensure digital transformation success.

And success will be different for every organization, but we can settle on the common goals of business objectives achieved in an accelerated time frame, high customer satisfaction and our old Six Sigma friend, First Time Right (or as close to right as we can get it without diminishing the first two success parameters).

While a Digital Assurance strategy is a composite of many factors, there are three new entrants into what is an already crowded lineup of critical enablers for digital transformation: real time experience monitoring, automation of data validation and, thinking forward, (yes, it is really coming) 5G network adoption.

Peeling away a few more layers of the digital transformation onion, let us delve into these topics that are taking on increased relevance in the journey to digital success.

Continuous customer engagement with real time experience monitoring

Long gone are the days of shipping software on CDs – as are the extremely long and inefficient feedback loops (if we can even call it a loop). Anyone can launch a product, at any time from any location. Immediacy is the theme of the day, and hence, implementing real-time experience monitoring is a key enabler of staying ahead of ever-changing customer expectations.  So, it is safe to safe that the ultimate success of a digital transformation will be partially reliant on real-time feedback that can swiftly be factored and incorporated into a product or digital asset.

According to Gartner, “Digital experience monitoring is an availability and performance monitoring discipline that supports the optimization of the operational experience and behavior of a digital agent, human or machine, as it interacts with enterprise applications and services.

To stay ahead in the competition, it is vital to have the ability to predict and adapt. The metrics offered by this digital assurance strategy enabler allows enterprises to detect and alleviate issues that have a negative impact for customer experience, even before the customer has had a chance to provide feedback via the many channels they now have their fingertips.

A real-time digital experience monitoring paradigm allows you to identify issues, quickly identify the root cause, and make the necessary changes.

Automation of data validation

There is a well-known adage in real estate, “There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.” Anybody who invested in that prime real estate venture in northern Alaska can attest to the absolute truth of this statement. We can say the same thing for digital transformation – there are three things that matter: data, data, data. Sure, there are many critical elements to a successful digital transformation. But is there anything that holds more promise – and presents more challenges (and gray hair) – than finally taming the beast that is all things data? Especially when we consider the speed, complexity, and scale at which every organization’s data is growing.

The “legacy” and heterogenous manners in which data continues to be addressed is not keeping up with the pace at which data has become an omnipresent challenge. Hence, automation and data need to be as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly. Automation of data validation is revolutionizing the way enterprises carry out their operations. It makes use of the digital transformation technology and keeps the data quality in check by ensuring that the data is processes, analyzed, validated, and cleansed in an expedited manner.

As the volume of data is mammoth, the automation of data validation eases the process with little manual intervention and ensures the validated data is accurate.

Automation of data processing, analysis and validation is not a nice to have – it is an absolute must have. Otherwise, no organization can hope to keep up.

5G network adoption

It feels as if the promise – or as some claim, the hype – of 5G has been lingering for years now. I feel bad for 4G…sandwiched between what was at the time a major broadband improvement with 3G, and what at the time seemed like the immediate early mentions of 5G. Anyone that is a middle child will understand. But I digress. The promise, or the hype as it may be, is understandable. 5G presents a new horizon – one that is not tangible and stretches the inherent “boundaries of possible” that we have formed in our minds. Make no mistake, 5G is indeed coming and it stands to be a major catalyst across all the digital transformation initiatives. While the technology is still emerging, it will unlock the prowess of latest technologies such as IoT, AI/ML, and hyper automation to an altogether different level.

According to Forrester, “The rollout of 5G is much more evolutionary than the rollout scenarios of previous cellular standards. The primary reason for the different pace relates to the gradual and piecemeal definition of the 5G standard by the main 5G standardization bodies, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The new cellular technology will encompass a large collection of capabilities not available in past cellular generations.”

The 5G network adoption will be a critical enabler for digital transformation that goes beyond the potential of providing a competitive advantage; it stands to become a mandate for all enterprises to  stay competitive in this digital transformation race, or better put, this digital transformation marathon.

Interested in hearing more? Join ISG’s BFSI TechXchange!


Join Jayabrata Nag, VP, Global Partnerships & Alliances at Cigniti Technologies, Bill Hayduk, CEO, RTTS and Chris stark, CEO, Innovate5G as they deliver an insightful virtual session on the importance of #Digital at ISG (Information Services Group) #TechXchange on May 18 and 19.

In this session, we will explore how BFSI organizations are redrawing their expectations from Digital Assurance disciplines and pivoting to correlate the impact of these initiatives with their business outcomes.

We will also highlight the pivotal roles that Big Data Assurance, on the one hand, and the imminent proliferation of Big-Data-Ready 5G networks will play in the realization of the Digital Transformation Dream of the Banking, Insurance and Financial Services industries

Participating in these 2 days sessions will guide your organization in adopting the innovative solutions and technologies that will elevate your enterprise and keep you competitive.

Register today for the  ISG Events TechXchange: Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance services. Please contact us to learn how you can attend this session for free.

Being a global leader in independent quality engineering services, Cigniti is a strong advocate of Quality Assurance and its implementation right from the early stages of the software lifecycle. We encourage customer feedback and believe in including such feedback in our broader quality assurance approach. We take great measures to ensure that we are fully equipped with state-of-the-art services and have partnered with other experts that specialize in providing testing services. Talk to us.


  • Chris Manuel

    Chris leads Cigniti’s Digital GTM focused on customer success in Digital Transformation and Assurance. He is an accomplished IT Services and Solutions executive with over 25 years of experience formulating IT strategy, providing advisory and consulting and “roll up the sleeves” delivery. Chris has worked with many Fortunate 500 organizations – including 15 of the Fortunate 100 – across multiple industry verticals including Retail, CPG, Travel and Hospitality, and BFSI. He has an innate passion for helping organizations transform by leveraging digital, IT operation modernization, new agile ways of working and deploying software.

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