Ever since the investment bank collapses in the United States in late 2008, the Canadian financial sector – indeed, the global economy – has been facing challenges. Combined with the ongoing debt crisis in the European Union and other global pressures, financial firms have not been nearly as bullish with their investments, and Canadians have not been as aggressive in their financial investment strategies. Although Moody’s reported last September that the Canadian economy recovered more quickly than the economies of other developed nations, the current financial climate remains gloomy enough to deter increased growth opportunities.
“There are a lot of headwinds against the Canadian economy from the rest of the world, there’s a challenge to encourage business to invest, there are pressures on the currency,” Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, told a parliamentary committee last October, according to Reuters.
In order to address difficult economic conditions that deter many from investing, and to meet increasing regulatory oversight which has been enacted in light of everything that has happened over the last five years, many financial firms in Canada and around the world are turning to new technology solutions such as software as a service (SaaS), unified communications (UC) and internet-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
The benefits of UCaaS, SaaS and BYOD
In the wake of recent market scandals, one of the best ways financial firms can help themselves is by being more transparent about their actions with both government regulators and customers. Individuals turning to financial firms want to make sure the company has their interests in mind and that all channels of communication are open to them.
“Hyperconnectivity is redefining relationships between individuals, consumers and enterprises, citizens and state, and we are beginning to see fundamental transformations in all areas of the economy and society,” said Robert Greenhill, Chief Business Officer of the World Economic Forum. “Traditional organizations and industry infrastructures are facing challenges as industries converge. This will inevitably have consequences for policy and regulation as regulators will have to mediate the blurring lines between sectors and industries and will be obligated to oversee more facets in a pervasive way.”
Unified communications, especially solutions leveraged as a service instead of in-house, can be especially beneficial in this regard. By using a UCaaS system, financial companies can communicate with clients at a moment’s notice, whether that means holding a video conference to speak with a customer or sending critical documents to regulatory agencies.
Finance companies can make lines of communication even more transparent by leveraging mobile technologies. Smartphones and tablets are becoming more prevalent than ever. A report from eMarketer last March projected that there will be 12.2 million smartphone owners in Canada in 2013 and that 51 percent of all cellphone users will have a smartphone by the end of this year.
Smartphones and tablets can not only help consumers access financial information, but the technology can also make businesses more efficient. By implementing a bring your own device policy, an organization can be sure it is leveraging the latest technologies without having to spend large amounts of money on procurement or training.