Delivering Sustainable Competitive Advantage

According to DST’s Head of Relationship Management Shaun McKenna, operational excellence is critical to success in today’s rapidly changing financial services market.

Today’s financial services leaders are dealing with a raft of game-changing challenges.

How do I meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and demanding customer base? How do I beat off the growing army of competitors coming at me from both inside and outside the sector? How do I respond to ever-increasing compliance and efficiency expectations? How do I cope with accelerating technological change and the disruption it causes? How do I attract, support, and retain increasingly hard-to-find talent?

The enormity of these challenges makes for withering reading. That is, until you realise they all have one solution in common… Operational excellence.

Operational excellence is the ability to deliver sustainable competitive advantage through enhanced operational performance.  Once seen as a way to drive down cost, there’s now a growing recognition that operational excellence has far more to offer. By optimising how an organisation delivers value, operational excellence can underpin:

  • A true, end-to-end customer experience that realises (rather than threatens) the promise made by your brand and increasingly digital touchpoints.
  • Streamlined and more effective compliance and performance management.
  • Improved efficiency and productivity without sacrificing customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and sustainable growth.
  • Innovation and collaboration by aligning your people and partners at both a technological and human level.
  • More effective risk management by providing the knowledge and ability to better anticipate and manage governance and cyber risks.

At the same time, operationally excellent organisations are far more fit for the future. They’re agile, adaptable, and able to see rapid change not as a challenge but as an opportunity to build competitive advantage.

Operationally excellent organisations can re-configure their products, services, and operations on the fly to meet constantly changing customer, competitive, and regulatory demands. They can evolve their critical systems without painful ‘big bang’ transformations. They can create M&A opportunities by reducing the complexity of integration and synergy extraction. And they’ll benefit from, not struggle through, the coming wave of automation.

This is why operational excellence is no longer just a nice-to-have. Put simply, financial services firms won’t survive the future without significant operational improvements… they won’t be able to keep up.

Achieving operational excellence can be a daunting task. It has the potential to be costly, disruptive, and risky in its own right. Furthermore, operational excellence is a moving target. What is leading-edge today will most likely be run of the mill by 2020.

The good news however, is that our ability to manage this complexity is improving all the time through:

  • Better solutions for process modelling and management.
  • More flexible, simple, and integration-friendly process management platforms.
  • Cloud-based technology procurement models, such as Technology as a Service (TaaS), which enable leading-edge process management capabilities without the complexity and cost of insourced solutions.

This means the benefits of operational excellence are now within the reach of a growing number of financial services organisations.

To learn more about operational excellence, download a copy of our new insights paper "Growth from the Inside Out: Mastering the Complexity of Operational Excellence.”


Shaun McKenna
Head of Sales
DST Systems, Australia

The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of DST Systems, Inc. or its affiliates, subsidiaries, joint ventures, officers, directors, or management.




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