Is Financial Services Ready For GenAI? Here’s How To Not Fall Behind
6 mins read

Is Financial Services Ready For GenAI? Here’s How To Not Fall Behind

Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Jackson.


Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) is shaking the foundation of business and profoundly impacting workforces worldwide, and many organizations are upscaling to be prepared.

Over the next decade, financial services specifically will evolve into a data-driven ecosystem where insurance, investments and retirement solutions are heavily powered by AI models at an individual customer level to transform traditional customer experiences.

AI capabilities will likely disrupt nearly every aspect of insurance and financial services value chains. As a result, companies will likely look very different in several key ways: how they analyze financial professional and customer sentiment for retention and offering complementary products and services, powering next-generation chatbots that accurately respond to complex customer inquiries, writing programming code and documentation and resolving production errors before they occur.

Given these stakes, companies are developing AI strategies to address where to start, what foundational technology investments are needed, which employee skills are required, how ethical and legal considerations will impact businesses and industries and how cultural shifts will unlock AI’s full potential.

When incorporating GenAI into your organization, you need to be strategic. This means moving move beyond chasing shiny tech objects and instead quickly transitioning to using GenAI to transform your business.

The GenAI Trend

Everyone is now talking about GenAI. According to SimilarWeb, ChatGPT received 1.7 billion visits in October 2023 and is officially the fastest-adopted technology in history.

According to an Ernst & Young study, virtually all (99%) financial services leaders surveyed reported their organizations were employing AI in some way, and all respondents said they are either already using or planning to use GenAI within their organization.

In addition, the survey found just over one in five respondents said they are nervous or skeptical about the potential impact of GenAI on their organization, including not feeling confident the organization is well-positioned to take advantage of potential benefits.

Beyond the hype, ChatGPT has put a spotlight on AI and the advent of large language models that are now capable of generating synthetic content such as natural language chat, programming code and product designs. These advances in AI have been enabled through easy access to hyperscale cloud computing, which is only accelerating the pace of innovation.

The Why Behind GenAI

There are three drivers for incorporating GenAI into your business:

• Efficiency is low-hanging fruit. GenAI allows the quick generation of responses, new content, useful insights and more. This results in more efficient customer service and allows your team to deliver value faster by enabling associates to focus on more strategic work while AI automates repetitive tasks.

• Customer experience (CX) starts with personalization. GenAI has made it feasible for any organization to provide hyper-personalized experiences. Customer-facing capabilities are now optimized for natural language to provide a better overall customer experience by using GenAI to streamline access to the knowledge they are seeking.

• Growth and diversification occur when you bring value to the market by incorporating GenAI to help customers achieve their goals. This can make you better at what you do and allow you to reach a larger audience, leading to increased revenue.

For many organizations, adding GenAI may include introducing an AI virtual assistant to analyze company knowledge sources and provide simple answers to complex questions. It can also increase productivity and accelerate new hire training or expand the GenAI assistant to become an enterprise capability and resource across all business functions.

Regardless, businesses must keep in mind that capabilities such as GenAI will never replace the value of human-to-human interaction, and incorporating GenAI is a matter of aligning people, processes and technology to enable customer loyalty, promote innovation and mitigate key business risks.

Getting Started With GenAI

At Jackson, we see GenAI as an opportunity to amplify what we already do well. When looking at how to use GenAI in financial services, remember that having a strong culture can set you up for an ideal environment to use it as a strategic accelerator.

As Peter Drucker is credited with saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,”—and a culture enabled by GenAI is better positioned to win in the marketplace.

Ready to get started? First, you’ll need to get buy-in from your executive team and key stakeholders at your company to develop your AI strategy. You must define what GenAI means for your business, identify your goals and establish a cross-functional oversight team to deliver the opportunities that are in front of you.

Additionally, it is important to establish AI governance and implement an AI policy to direct your activities going forward, including people strategies to upskill your current team with the AI knowledge needed to achieve your aspirational outcomes.

The Bottom Line

Leveraging GenAI to drive experience and growth through operational efficiency, personalized experience and product innovation can strengthen your company’s position in your industry.

As Justin Trudeau once said, “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.” While it is true the pace of technology-driven change has never been faster and will only increase, there is another variable that will govern our ability to win in the marketplace: Winning is not purely about managing at the speed of change, but it is also about managing at the speed of your customer.

You should look to GenAI as an ideal to balance pushing the envelope with your business model while deriving tangible value out of your investment. One thing is for certain—disruption will happen whether you are ready for it or not. The key question is, will you be ready?

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?