Oz, The Great and Powerful…Are We Guilty of Blowing Smoke?

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In my last blog I discussed how the recent increases in lending are a good thing, as long as lending policies remained prudent and conservative. Now, I want to look at transforming the low risk = low growth challenge. For me, a part of this is about making real what our customers actually believe is true right now. I think we (the lending industry) are a little guilty of what I am going to call the ‘Great and Powerful Oz’ syndrome. The customers see this impressive façade, with fancy Web pages and that robot voice when I call in. It gives the impression of great mystery and power. But we all know (wink wink!) what really happens behind the curtain! Yep, let’s face it, we are all pulling levers and blowing smoke! That technologically mystifying and enigmatic organization we all portray is smoke and mirrors. Our systems don’t speak to each other, our besieged staff are all cutting and pasting like crazy playing the ‘human integrator’ and plugging the gaps in our solutions that cannot provide an end-to-end solution to what our customers take for granted as being kind of straightforward!

Current systems are like bananas and frozen peas. Sure, both are food groups, but if you try and integrate them you get something I don’t care to think about! What we need are systems that are more like a Rubik’s cube, ones that are readily integrated which just swivel about a bit to create a pattern. That pattern can still change, but once it’s still integrated, it fundamentally retains its shape, doing its job.

Lending organizations can still achieve growth, even in a risk-averse and highly regulated market, but they will need to be significantly more ‘joined together’, able to deploy end to end processes with business friendly tools embracing innovation and agility, able to both transform existing processes and exploit new opportunities.