FROM THE CEO Sincerely, Digital Channel Technology Q&A DAVE THOMAS, Director of Digital Channel Management, Sterling National Bank Q: How vital is it for businesses to invest in digital management solutions in today’s tech-savvy market? A: It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, digital is the way to go. It’s something that customers expect, and if you use it right, you can even see gains like new customer acquisition. Q: What role does mobile technology play in channel management for businesses? A: Here at Sterling, we are beginning to design for mobile first. You don’t want to go back to the office or get on a computer to complete a transaction. Things are expected to happen in real time, and mobile’s the best way to make that happen. Building out a mobile platform that can function as a computer is the goal. Q: What are some insights, mapping, or architectural details businesses should implement to improve their online customer experience? A: Start by asking if the product is scalable. It’s all about thinking ahead versus your immediate need. The Sterling digital team applies an agile methodology so everything gets built in small iterations. This allows you to build and see something—test, learn, and then quickly react. Q: What advice would you give business owners looking to make sense of their customer data? A: It’s all about taking the time and applying the expertise to analyze the data so you can see what your consumer patterns are. Data gives you the ability to identify places where you’re having issues, and helps illustrate future opportunities. Q: What have you learned from implementing new technology at Sterling that would be beneficial to know for small business owners? A: The fastest way to do something isn’t always the best way. Sometimes we’re in a rush to push things to market, but there’s value in taking time and making sure it’s going to provide the end result you want. Also, remember that you understand your business better than anyone else. A consultant can come in and say you need to use this technology, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right option for your business. STERLING NATIONAL BANK RANKED #5 IN S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE'S 2016 REGIONAL BANK PERFORMANCE RATING* 4 | SNB.COM // CONNECT INNOVATION SUMMER 2017 // RANKED BY FORBES’ 2017 “AMERICA’S 100 BEST BANKS” COPYRIGHTED I t’s incredible to think about how innovation has changed our world in such a short amount of time. Little more than a decade ago, the way we did busi- ness was markedly different. The social media revolution was just beginning to take hold, and served as more of a distraction Jack L. Kopnisky than a driving force. President & CEO Smartphones and Sterling National Bank other mobile devices, while available, were not as ubiquitous among consumers—and tablets wouldn’t become a widely accepted consumer tech- nology until the release of the iPad in 2010. The primary options for getting around Manhattan were still walking, hailing a cab, or relying on the subway, as the so-called “sharing economy” wasn’t yet on the radar of the transportation (or hospitality) industry. Simply put, today’s rapid innovation cycle means that all businesses—new and old alike—must adapt and embrace change to survive. Fortunately, Sterling and our team of relationship managers are committed to helping our clients navigate today's fast- paced and often unpredictable business climate. In this issue of Connect, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for what it takes to understand today's über-connected (no pun intended) consumers with the help of journey maps (Page 15), as well as how to appeal to the unique conventions and habits of millennials (Page 19). You'll also learn about operational innovations you can apply within the four walls of your business, from overhauling a tired corporate learning program (Page 8) to embracing remote work options (Page 23). Remember, innovation waits for no one. Embrace it and adapt today, and reap the benefits tomorrow.