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How to Develop a Technology Strategy that Matches Your Company Culture

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Choosing a tech strategy that doesn’t work for your company can have a devastating effect on efficiency, growth and morale. Follow these simple guidelines on your journey.

by Percy G. Johnson, Jr, Vice President Agile Solutions

The case for automation among mortgage and loan providers is overwhelming; increased per loan revenue, improved margins and maximum utilization of data which allows organizations to scale quickly and achieve higher loan volumes, better service and happier customers.

It feels like that debate around the digital economy has been settled, and financial institutions all over the world are embracing the technology that has disrupted their old ways of doing business. We are recognizing how useful and powerful it can be when properly incorporated into the culture of an organization. 

AI Foundry believes that your technology strategy should achieve two key goals; increase efficiency and job satisfaction within your organization, and in so doing, free up valuable time for key employees to do the high-quality work they were hired to do in the first place.

Everything else will flow from there.

The Case for rapid technological adoption

News breaks every day about how innovation is sweeping through the financial services industry.

In the UK, Monese, a provider of mobile-only current accounts has signed up 500,000 users since its launch in 2015. In South Africa, six new digital banks are preparing to hit the market. Global banking giant Barclays has partnered with a digital startup in order to use “AI to create models of various situations a bank could be put in, including models that account for human mistakes and run simulations, as a means of lowering risk and reducing error.”

With so much diversity in the field of lending and banking, it’s difficult to pronounce on one technology strategy as the right way to go.  But central to all of the innovation is data and the ways that an institution handles its data and derives actionable intelligence from it.

Harnessing the power of your data

There is a common phrase used amongst computer programmers - ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’.

What that means essentially is that incorrect input into a field will produce flawed output. Your systems are only as good as the quality of the data you input, and nowhere is this more true than in the financial services and mortgage sectors of the economy. 

AI Foundry has spent years developing sophisticated techniques of gathering and analyzing data for lenders and borrowers. Our systems are built on sophisticated imaging techniques and user-guided machine learning which enables documents to be classified into groups, and actionable data to be extracted. The Agile Lending Solution eliminates the rekeying of information and the “stare and compare” syndrome that drags down the accuracy of the data and the quality of work in a company.

One of the leading providers of outsourced mortgage solutions who saw the benefits of AI Foundry’s Agile Mortgage Solutions is a company called Evolve Mortgage Services. “Our reliable processes and platforms allow lenders and servicers to focus on their core competencies, knowing their loan quality needs are fulfilled,” explains President Gregg Meyer.

By implementing the Agile Solution, Evolve was able to offer three key advantages; 

Total end-to-end solutions, both for large financial institutions as well as smaller players who can now offer sophisticated platforms without needing enterprise software to run them.

Streamlined origination and post-closing services, freeing lenders to concentrate their efforts on the core competencies of loan production and execution.

Higher Data Accuracy by eliminating the need for manual entry of data and using machine learning and sophisticated imaging software to improve classification rates, and extract key data from across all document types.

As a result of these interventions, Evolve has seen a marked improvement in throughput, accuracy rates and turn times.

Read more on the solutions that Evolve used in their case study.

High-value, productive work for employees

There are multiple benefits to implementing a technology strategy that changes the way you onboard new customers and handle their data. Automation provides speed and convenience so that providers can scale up faster and handle higher volumes of transactions. When the accuracy of data capture is improved and the number of errors diminish, a new confidence and energy sweeps through the system. 

One aspect of improvement that has been largely overlooked is how automation frees up time for employees to do high-value, productive work. Too many employees get bogged down in repetitive, manual tasks that take a toll on their creativity and prevent them from doing creative work that could lead to bigger profits and new opportunities.

Developing a technology strategy

So what should management be doing within an organization to ensure that they set the right technological process in motion?

Get buy-in from employees: While a superficial reading could suggest that automation is used to replace workers, in fact it’s more important than ever for employees to be involved in digitization. They need to ensure that the right processes are being automated, that output is improving and not just adding to their workload, and that they are receiving the kind of quality data that they require from the software to make them work more efficiently.

Identify Roadblocks: It’s vital that upper management understands the data workflow process, how a loan application moves from start to finish, and the source of the stumbling blocks that slow down a deal. Then work with the people involved in those processes to design solutions. 

Choose Experienced Partners: Upper management should consult with partners who have experience with data solutions, and who can offer solutions geared to their specific challenges and to the industry as a whole.

Iterate: Keep analyzing and improving the system so that it reinforces the culture of flexibility and agility, and can keep producing new actionable insights on the work that is being done.

The potential of AI and machine learning can feel overwhelming to those who are looking to begin incorporating it into the workflow. It’s a natural reaction, but it can be managed if lenders have a clear sense of what they want the technology to accomplish. They need to have a realistic picture of how their processes currently work, and what automation could do to improve the situation.

Finally, they need the technology to enhance the existing culture of the organization in meaningful ways, in order for it to deliver and become a part of the backroom workflow of the company. 

Find out more about AI Foundry’s Agile Solutions today and discover more about how financial institutions are using technology to gain a competitive advantage.