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10:20 AM
Bob Olson
Bob Olson

One Size Fits Nobody in End User Services

How building profiles from employees' roles and behaviors can help optimize your end user services.

Here’s a question I like to ask bank IT executives: If you were designing your bank’s IT end user services from scratch today, how would it be different? 

It is ironic that although banks are fighting to reduce cost wherever possible, their end user services can end up costing them more than ever. This is because IT must work around a patchwork of hardware and software that is always a few upgrades short while they watch maintenance costs continue to climb. This uphill battle makes it difficult for IT to differentiate end user services according to the unique needs of each end user.

[For more from Unisys' Bob Olson, check out: Now Flatter, Cheaper Networks Can Be Secure, Too]

The good news is that IT can differentiate by making appropriate distinctions among users. By that we don’t mean fixing the CEO’s laptop faster than that of the HR receptionist; we mean the business and security distinctions that are based on the user’s role, business mission, working patterns, IT needs, and security and compliance risks.

The key is to build “personas” based on those distinctions to determine the right technology and support level needs:

  • What devices do they use for their business mission? Everybody uses mobile, but for critical bank purposes? If your International Trade Finance reps use smartphones to image capture shipping papers in Asia before customers can be paid, those phones rate a very high level of support.
  • What applications do they use, and which are mission-critical? Someone in marketing can probably get by longer without email than someone in wire transfer who is poised to release millions of dollars on receipt of an email.
  • What networks do they use? Many bank employees never need to come near the bank’s payment networks, for example, but those who do often need instant and unfettered access except for stringent security measures.
  • What security do they require for their work, and how well walled off are they from less secure colleagues? Hackers often target individuals whose responsibilities leave them less wary and use small openings to find their way into more sensitive areas. And there are different kinds of security to worry about. Customer privacy, payment safety, the personal security of the CEO -- all require different security approaches.
  • What storage needs do they have? Developers in data analytics will take up more storage space than tellers. But storage needs can change rapidly based on what applications are involved. Increasingly, loan officers in the field are turning to image processing to capture documents in the field, significantly increasing their storage needs.

The good news is that today the data is available to build those persona profiles. When you group users according to these personas, you can define the level of support you need to provide on behalf of each. The profiles give instant insight into whether the user requires the most basic self-support, simple remote chat, a more traditional service desk, field support, or even concierge support and depot services -- the whole continuum of service.

So while you can’t build your end user services from scratch, you can tailor existing services, based on personas, as a major step forward in terms of lower cost, better service, and greater security.

Bob Olson is a Vice President at Unisys where he manages the Global Financial Services Practice.He works with clients by providing a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology to help them solve their mission-critical problems. Prior to Unisys, Bob was ... View Full Bio

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