OPSTRACKER ISSUE 4 2023

Will 2024 be any different for service operations?

The fourth edition of OpsTracker analyzes OpsIndex data from July to September 2023 and trends to watch in 2024.

OpsTracker is a unique, data-driven, quarterly review of global operations performance, featuring recommendations to improve key operational metrics. Expert perspectives on upcoming challenges and opportunities make this a must-read for COOs and operations leaders in financial services.

2023’s challenges with supply and demand, rising inflation and costs, has certainly given service operations a new flavor of turbulence to contend with. As the year draws to a close, we want to look forward to 2024. Will this be the year that the transformational promises of technology are finally realized and start to smooth out the bumps in the road?

What's new in this edition

In each OpsTracker report, we spotlight new topics that operations teams are grappling with and invite industry experts to share their experiences and opinions on these challenges.

SPOTLIGHT

AI and data: award-winning ops leaders discuss the future of operations

How would you sum up 2023 for service operations? What do you think service operations need to focus on in 2024? What impact do you think AI will have on service ops? How important do you think using real-time data to enable better decision-making is going to be next year? These are the questions we asked three of the industry trailblazers who won the ActiveOps Ops Executive of the Year award this year.

Download the report to read the full opinion article →
SPOTLIGHT

Embracing the future of ops

Most ops leaders are already planning ahead for next year. But what about the longer-term trends that you need to be aware of and stay clued up on? This article condenses the wisdom of the ops experts and futurists who attended panel discussions at Capacity23 to answer those questions. From AI, to the value of data, to retraining the C-suite to view operations as a source of value instead of a cost center, this must-read article is full of insights.

Download the report to read the full opinion article →

Be prepared: the 60-second lowdown

Five key trends that are impacting operations teams around the world.

Advanced AI is coming

As advanced AI tools become ever-more applicable to the real world, ops leaders are understandably trying to figure out what AI means for them. While there is no doubt that advanced AI will change how operations are run, ops professionals believe that the transformative impact of AI is going to be gradual rather than sudden, with advanced AI likely to be first used to enhance human performance rather than replace them (for instance, one US business process outsourcing firm is using generative AI to help ops teams in different parts of the world to compose emails back to US operations in English rather their native language).

Cleaning up your data

Operations teams have no shortage of data. Their challenge is turning it into insights that can help improve operational performance. To do that, organizations need to get their data in order by dismantling traditional data silos and creating a centralized 360-degree view of the business to improve planning and resource management. This is especially relevant for Financial institutions are particular under pressure in this area as regulatory pressures and the rise of advanced AI tools means those who don’t get their data in order will be left behind.

Operations as a business partner

Adopting AI in ops is going to require significant investment, which will involve getting buy-in from senior leaders to throw money at a department that has traditionally been seen as a cost center. Ops leaders can turn this narrative around by adopting a similar technique as IT leaders have done in the past and position operations as a business partner that can save the organization money. The case for AI is clear: it can streamline operational performance by automating tasks and enable teams to become more productive and efficient, helping to drive cost savings across the business.

Hybrid working 2.0

Hybrid working continues to spark debate as more organizations call on their workers to return to the office. What has become clear is that ops teams that use workforce data to track employee performance are able to demonstrate if their hybrid working policies are working or not. While many organizations still think about hybrid working as solely a question of location, some firms are now starting to think about it as a question of who is performing the work – humans or robots. By using a hybrid of the two, organizations can unlock greater efficiencies and improve performance outcomes. 

Investing in team culture

As organizations look at how AI can help re-engineer the way ops is run, operations leaders need to ensure they don’t lose sight of the human side of the workforce and ensure their people are engaged in the transformation journey. Not only does this mean finding change agents within the business who can champion new ways of working, it also means investing in team culture and empowering individuals to speak up.

OpsIndex performance across regions

The UK and Ireland’s improvement from last quarter has not lasted, with performance declining again. It indicates that operations are still bearing the brunt of economic malaise, as well as the worst sickness levels in more than a decade. North American service operations continue their steady gains, drawing closer and closer to Australia and New Zealand. This reflects the relative strength of the US economy, protecting work volumes but testing agility levels.

Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand’s performance is inconclusive, with a marginal improvement in the last quarter but still down on last year’s performance. With a similar economic environment prevailing as in the UK and Ireland, and the traditionally slow summer period coming, the region’s leading position could be under threat.
Download the report to read the full analysis →

Operational performance globally remains below pandemic-era highs, though the direction of travel is sharply divergent across regions. In the UK and Ireland, performance continues to decline against a backdrop of economic malaise and an ongoing cost of living crisis. By contrast, organizations in North America have shrugged off disruption in the banking sector and shown steady improvements over the past quarter (albeit with signs that improved effectiveness may be coming at the expense of customer service). Meantime, the top performing region, Australia and New Zealand, has seen its winning streak of post-pandemic gains finally stall, with performance flatlining in the opening three months of the year. The region’s performance over the coming quarter should give a clearer indication if this was just a temporary blip or if attempts to squeeze out more productivity gains have run out of steam. Read the full analysis →

Previous OpsTracker issues

APRIL – JUNE 2023

Missed the third edition of the OpsTracker report? Don’t worry. See how operations teams performed in Q2 2023.

JANUARY – MARCH 2023

Missed the second edition of the OpsTracker report? Don’t worry. See how operations teams performed in Q1 2023.

Q4 2019 – Q4 2022

Missed the first edition of the OpsTracker report? Don’t worry. See how operations teams performed around the world before, during and after the pandemic.

More operational insights and inspiration

Where once we had ‘The Great Resignation’, now we are facing what some in Australia…

Spencer O’Leary discusses the growing trend of merging resources across front and back-office functions…

Ray Bowe explains the nuances between the UK and Irish market, how Ireland’s banks benefit…

Marc Romain, an experienced ops leader, shares the challenges banking operations face from a lack…

As senior leaders wrestle with the paranoia of staff working hybrid or remotely, Richard Jeffery explores how using the right data can improve decision-making and work policies.

‘Quiet hiring’ is one of Gartner’s top workforce predictions for 2023. What is it? And how can you boost staff retention and productivity?

There are 5 metrics every COO should know. Ian Carter explains why they are so important to help you to build operational resilience.

Digital transformation expert Dr. Mona Ashok discusses the growth and adoption of ChatGPT in financial services and how advanced AI technology will transform operations in the future.

About the authors

Ian Carter is Head of Insight & Innovation at ActiveOps; Kevin Evans is Chief Technology Officer at ActiveOps; Bhavesh Vaghela is Chief Marketing Officer at ActiveOps; Andrew Wilson is General Manager Operations at ASB; Nozizwe Tshabuse is Managing Executive: Client Debt Management & Recoveries at Nedbank; Tom Frosina is Head of Card Operations at TD Bank.

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