By : Alastair Hogben
April 06, 2017 08:00 AM
Thin-client computing can help retail banks to achieve significant benefits through the deployment of devices that connect to centralized data centers and servers, providing a virtual user interface. Their ability to remotely connect to a server means thin clients don't need their own computing architecture.
In the financial services industry, businesses can use thin-client solutions to gain advantages including lower operating costs and a consistent user experience.
The advantages in detail
Thin-client computing allows you to run a network of user devices - such as ATMs, in the retail banking industry - from one central server. One of the biggest advantages of this approach is reduced operating costs, as you're making much more efficient use of your hardware and IT support resources.
Reduced software maintenance is another significant benefit, with all updates and changes to applications and operating systems being tested, analyzed and rolled out via a central server, reaching all customer touchpoints simultaneously. On a similar note, the centralization of software makes it much easier to monitor and protect these assets from any security threats, while sensitive data is less likely to be compromised or lost.
If you're looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, thin-client technology can help by reducing on-site power consumption compared with traditional machines. The cost savings that can be achieved through lower electricity consumption can then be reinvested into other parts of your business.
The advantages in action
There are many examples from beyond the financial services industry of how beneficial thin-client IT infrastructure can be for all sorts of organizations.
Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, states that it was "designed from the ground up to be very sustainable". One of the key elements of its strategy was the introduction of thin-client computing terminals, of which there are now approximately 1,250 across the campus.
Devon IT, which describes itself as an alternative desktop computing firm, offers the example of a "virtual desktop revolution" that took place at one of the world's largest banks. The bank replaced 150,000 traditional PCs with thin clients and saw benefits including efficient, centralized management, strong security and reduced IT costs.
These cases provide an insight into some of the very real advantages financial institutions could gain from the deployment of thin-client technology in key parts of their business.
Realizing the benefits of CxBanking
One of the key benefits to be gained from deploying thin-client technology across your self-service network is the delivery of a unified, consistent customer experience, which is critical in the omnichannel banking environment. The use of a centralized server to control customer touchpoints gives you the flexibility and agility to make changes to the user experience as and when you need to, guaranteeing that it is aligned with your other channels.
This also puts more control in your hands when it comes to using consumer-facing devices to drive a rebranding project or advertise new services.
What's more, the system can be integrated with backend assets such as your customer relationship management databases, allowing you to offer a more personalized experience using the information at your disposal.
Essentially, thin-client solutions such as those available through NCR's CxBanking software help you to deliver a dynamic, responsive service offering the sort of personalization and omnichannel consistency that customers expect today, while providing a range of behind-the-scenes cost and efficiency benefits for your business.
This is one of a number of examples of how using the right software can change how you do business and open up new experiences for customers. As consumers become more accustomed to financial institutions using technology to guarantee the best possible experience, those businesses that are resistant to change will run the risk of losing customers to bolder competitors.