Choosing and implementing the right tools with so many competing technology options on the market is a challenge. And don’t forget all the internal decisions that need to be made about budget, capabilities, security, solution implementation, and balancing on-premises capacity with cloud solutions. Of course there are tasks to consider also, like standardizing data and linking disparate systems and databases, perhaps involving multiple file formats and multiple languages. How does anyone ever decide the best IT solution for their collections activities?
Legacy System Drawbacks
A common problem many ARM operations struggle with is upgrading their legacy IT systems, no matter how strong their need to increase performance. “People tend to stick with legacy systems because that’s what they’re used to,” observed a longtime collections executive. “But what are these systems really costing you? When you look at the licensing, maintenance, and performance limitations, you start to see that investing in legacy technology is like investing in a bandage instead of a cure.”
IT systems must be powerful enough to support real-time and self-service functionality, while providing analytics architecture and processes to capture data for reporting, insight, and decision support.
Today’s requirements for omnichannel capabilities put capacity and performance even more in the spotlight. IT systems must be powerful enough to support real-time and self-service functionality, while providing analytics architecture and processes to capture data for reporting, insight, and decision support.
Unfortunately for legacy systems, they struggle to support the volume, velocity, and complexity of modern data, and are frequently difficult to scale. What’s more, legacy architectures have been built over possibly decades, leaving people feeling invested in these environments, even as they grow more complex and unwieldy through years of incremental enhancements.
So, in the end, how do you reduce hidden costs? It’s simple: Size up your legacy systems front to back and figure out how you’re spending your money for things like upkeep, security, licensing, and latency of information availability. Based on that assessment, consider your options, which might include replacing an entire system, optimizing current technology, or switching to an external provider. Embrace agility by framing needs around the business problems at hand, instead of making requests for specific technologies. Also, make sure that whatever systems you use are up to the job of supporting modern demands for seamless, omnichannel engagement with customers and can provide the analytic heft on the back end to process behavioral data for insight and a competitive advantage.
Bottom-Line Business Benefits
When you start digging into your unexamined costs, you can anticipate uncovering deeper insights and opportunities to improve your collection operations and enhance your bottom line. Whether the focus is on people, processes, or technology, many solutions involve questioning assumptions about how things have been done before. Questioning the status quo and asking how things might be done better should permeate the entire organization, from the CEO all the way to front-line agents and support staff. Then the total cost of doing business will be plain to see, and that’ll truly benefit the bottom line.
— Gary Dorman, Director of Operations (@wrg_gdorman)