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Srinivasan Seshadri

Digital to the Rescue – Financial Services in the Times of COVID-19
Srinivasan Seshadri EVP & Head of Financial Services, North America, HCL Technologies | May 4, 2020

COVID-19 has disrupted operations in every industry at an unprecedented scale with an undue pressure on the world’s economy. This has translated into challenging times for the financial services sector. To address this, it is imperative that banks, insurers, lenders, wealth management firms, and other financial services providers reimagine their operations from a digital perspective.

To keep the wheels running smoothly through this challenging (and possibly prolonged) time, financial services providers need a robust suite of digitalization enablers and remote working tools. HCL offers a fluid workplace solution that is adaptive, scalable, and connected to minimize the risk of operational downtime owing to crisis situations like COVID-19. HCL’s fluid workplace is an amalgamation of smart IT, smart machines, smart users, and smart spaces, helping organizations become fluid or incredibly agile in their operations. It would allow the financial sector to achieve the agility they require to continue (and even enhance) business productivity in these challenging times. HCL brings together all the collaboration and productivity essentials necessary, including a virtual workspace, change management that factors in employee needs, and adaptive security.

HCL believes that the conversation should revolve around productivity and security, not productivity vs. security.

Security is of particular concern, as the number of cybersecurity attacks has gone up in the wake of COVID-19. 40% of companies have seen an uptick in cyberattacks as they implement remote working, which is something that the financial sector can ill afford. The financial sector deals with huge volumes of sensitive customer information, requiring secure access at all times -- even from home. Remote working measures need to be updated for new security risks, with remote identity and access management (IAM), cloud-based VPNs, and regular patch management for remote endpoints.

HCL firmly believes that the conversation should revolve around productivity and security, instead of productivity vs. security. That’s why our remote working tools merge the fluidity of virtual workspace with the stringent security needed in the financial services sector, driving true optimization.

Ultimately, it comes down to an organization’s digital readiness and pace of digitization. Technology will be an integral lever as we combat and overcome the myriad operational impacts of COVID-19. From easing WFH for banking employees to advanced applications like pandemic analytics, there is a world of possibilities. Right now, the three largest banks in the US employ over half a million workers. By digitizing the banking landscape, organizations could keep their workforce safe and productive.

Technology will be an integral lever as we combat and overcome the myriad operational impacts of COVID-19.

Our definition of safety encompasses business assets as well as the workforce. A stronger emphasis on cybersecurity would drive sustainable fluid workplaces built on a robust digital framework. It would ensure that financial service providers remain resilient to crisis situations, leveraging digitalization as a launchpad for success even in the most challenging times.

These are complex times for the world at large, and Financial service providers, like every other sector, must utilize various digital forces to endure and overcome the many challenges on the road ahead, sustaining value creation and maintaining productivity. At HCL, we believe this synergy between security and scale digital delivery will be the key to reinforcing BAU along with the necessary transformation to make the business future ready. In these challenging times, we believe that ensuring organizations provide flexibility, comfort & safety to the workforce and consumers will make all the difference in the world – and HCL can aid organizations in making that happen.

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