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May - 2016 - issue > In My Opinion
Ashwani Choudhary
VP-Global Systems, IT Solutions, GM Financial
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Technology is perpetually evolving, and as new trends hit the market, the change can be rapid and sometimes disruptive. Demanding customer expectations with top-of-the line features, high-quality user experiences and great performance, along with factors such as fierce competition, constantly changing business and social landscapes are leading to continuous delivery of new technologies. Everywhere you look, technology has become a critical change agent touching every aspect of our lives.

Over the past decade, we have seen astonishing advances in the technological sector. However, not every emerging technology can be qualified as a disruptive innovation with the potential of having significant impact on business or end users. Disruptive technologies create significant impact on the global economy, change people's behavior and can actually transform how companies communicate, connect, and do business with consumers.

Advanced Technology in the Present Day

Some prominent examples of these advanced technologies are social media, mobile, cloud and collaboration technologies. These platforms have become key forces behind the success and evolution of digital technologies. Today more than ever, we achieve connectivity through multiple technologies in unimaginable ways. Through these advanced channels, businesses reach global audiences easier, faster and more effectively.

A world of global networks of businesses, consumers, partners, products and services, is leading to rapid evolution in device mesh and IoT world. Companies are heavily investing in new IoT technologies to reinvent business, create new products and services, and deliver an agile, dynamic user experience.

Technology trends are undergoing a massive shift to products such as smart cars, virtual reality, wearable devices, drones, advanced robotics, among others. In the next couple of years, more physical devices may be connected than human beings. This global network of connected devices will drive significant impact to our global environment, enabling customer experiences beyond our imagination.

Today, these advanced technologies are at our disposal, but the next big question is how to improve and maximize the value created by these technologies. Consumers have growing expectations of high-quality products and remarkable user experiences, and we are asking how best to build upon these available technologies to reshape the customer experience and offer new services.

As we focus our attention to improving products, services, security, connectivity, and communication, another question remains: How can we gather information from this massive global network of people, objects, and devices and create a transformational impact across consumers, business, and global economy?

Broadening Auto Lending in the Digital Age

New consumer technologies and collaborative channels can allow businesses to stay closely connected to their customers. However, this effort is only successful if the business finds a way to collect, organize and analyze the data. Cutting-edge technologies should be invested into engage customers and embed social intelligence into their core business models. Innovation driven by this intelligence should deliver greater efficiency, productivity and breakthrough user experiences.

These points are central to GM Financial, the captive finance company and wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors. We provide simple auto finance solutions, with operations in the U.S., Canada, China, Europe, and Latin America. With an IT department of nearly 1,000, we are consistently looking at ways to improve the customer experience, grow our brand, and drive core efficiencies while simultaneously leading in technology and innovation.

Our primary focus has been to innovate and invest in technology to drive improvements in business efficiency. With strong emphasis on IT Service excellence, our goal is to make sure technology supports GM Financial's exponential growth, makes our systems more efficient, and removes redundancies.

At GM Financial, with more than 8,000 employees globally, we are investing in mobile, cloud, analytics and digital technologies to scale, grow, and reinvent our business. GM Financial is entering the next phase of evolution. Full global captive capabilities are in place. We are positioned as the exclusive APR and lease provider for GM dealers.

We are investing in IT systems consolidation, greater user experience and risk reduction. Additional investment in digital technologies ensures we have multiple channels to instantly connect with our customers. We have continually run analytics and draw intelligence from our customers' data to understand their needs and expectations, leading to new innovative products and services supporting GM Financial growth.

Our customers can access their accounts through mobile devices, apply for credit online, and communicate with customer service representatives through multiple channels. Our dealers can connect with us through the click of a mouse. These technologies have transformed businesses like GM Financial's and changed the global economy. Social media has also allowed us to consider how we are doing business directly with the customer. As the captive finance company of GM, we make sure our mobile and online apps are available and accessible.

The Next Step

In the future, we should be thinking of ways to improve upon these technologies. Questions including, what features we can expand, what functionalities can we add, what new capabilities can drive value for users, should be our top priority. Advancement should be a priority and focus for many businesses, technology companies, and entrepreneurs.

At the end of the day, we need to invest in technology that is important to our business. We are highly focused on establishing a strong technological foundation that will allow us to build upon its structure for our future growth, both in size and scalability. With agile leadership, established management standards, adherence to policies/procedures and commitment to information security, we are entering a new realm of technological transformation that will serve as a foundation for a much smarter future.
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