April 16, 2021

The global financial services and insurance industries have been a major source of economic strength in the pandemic. Despite widespread closing of offices, branches and other workplaces, their technology infrastructure has kept them going and customers have been getting access to money, financial information, policies and other key services.

However, these sectors aren’t out of the woods yet, as I explain in my article in the latest edition of TCS Perspectives (The Pandemic’s Digital Acceleration of the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance Sectors).

As the pandemic subsides, the world marketplace for financial services and insurance firms is likely to be very different than the one they left behind. Executives face numerous high-stakes questions, with profound implications for how they use digital technology.

Based on TCS research and client experiences, I outline best practices for tackling these issues, in three phases of development: during the pandemic, as the pandemic wanes, and after COVID-19 is no longer a major health concern. Within these phases, I describe three categories of initiatives that firms should undertake to create resilience, value and growth.

I look into such issues as how financial institutions can ensure business continuity for the remainder of the pandemic. How can they prepare for future shutdowns? To attract highly skilled and valuable employees who work better from home than an office, how do these firms need to change their talent sourcing models? And how will they keep remote workers motivated and protected against increasing numbers of cyberattacks?

As I discuss in the article, automation will play a greater role for the remainder of the pandemic and beyond. During confinement, many financial institutions have gained efficiencies from automating mortgage applications, increasing the use of virtual assistants, and developing remote tools for opening accounts. Much more is required.

I also explore why these sectors must actively expand their partnerships with other companies that play in global financial digital ecosystems. For example, I explain what is to be learned from insurers that have been building partnerships with auto manufacturers and sensor designers, to gather better information about consumers’ driving habits.

These pandemic months have been immensely trying times for everyone and every company. As we emerge from the pandemic, great opportunities await financial institutions that take actions now to digitally transform their businesses to reach new levels of excellence. My Perspectives article provides a roadmap for how to get there.

K. Krithivasan  (Krithi) is President and Global Head of the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) Business Unit at Tata Consultancy Services. In this role, he is responsible for planning and executing growth strategies, improving financial performance, and enhancing customer mindshare and market positioning. He has helped key clients with digital transformation, change management cycle acceleration, achieving value beyond cost optimization, and establishing IT program governance.

Earlier in his 30-year global IT career, he held various positions in delivery, relationship management, large-program management, and sales. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras and a Master’s Degree in industrial and Management Engineering from IIT Kanpur.