Scott Hiemstra
Sales Director – Financial Services

In the rapidly evolving financial services landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a key driver of innovation, efficiency and customer satisfaction. It also presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for mid-tier financial institutions (FIs). The journey toward AI readiness is not just about embracing new technologies; it’s about revolutionizing how organizations operate, secure data and engage with their customers.

The Imperative for AI Readiness
Driven by its potential to transform operational models and create competitive advantages, AI adoption among FIs is surging. According to a recent Capgemini report, 74% of executives believe the benefits of generative AI outweigh the risks. Moreover, AI’s impact on enhancing customer care and experiences has been particularly significant, as it offers solutions to rising demands, cost pressures and call center burnout.

However, the path to leveraging AI effectively is fraught with challenges for many organizations. Mid-tier banks in particular, often lack the necessary data quality, technical expertise and AI readiness to harness the technology’s full potential. In response, many FIs are partnering with specialists to bridge the gap and expedite the AI integration process.

Addressing Data Security and Access Management
Data security is a key consideration in AI adoption. As financial services companies deal with sensitive information, they must ensure that AI solutions the protect customer data. Identity and access management (IAM) plays a crucial role in securing the backend and controlling access to sensitive systems and data. Cleaning and structuring the data environment is a critical step towards mitigating risks and laying a solid foundation for AI initiatives.

Harnessing Expert Partnerships
Given the complexities involved and their often-limited budgets, mid-tier banks may find the journey towards AI readiness daunting. This is where the value of partnering with third-party experts becomes evident. With deep technical expertise and a nuanced understanding of the financial services landscape, such partners can offer tailored solutions that accelerate AI integration while addressing security concerns proficiently.

Conducting a comprehensive assessment of the organization’s current capabilities and identifying areas for improvement is a critical step in the journey to AI readiness. Through an assessment workshop, organizations can engage in ideation sessions that delve into aspects such as data infrastructure, security protocols, AI application feasibility and more. This structured approach not only highlights gaps but also charts a strategic path forward, tailored to the specific needs and constraints of the organization.

Embracing the Future With Confidence
For mid-tier FIs looking to navigate the complexities of AI adoption, the support of seasoned third-party service providers is invaluable. Such partnerships offer not just the technical prowess but also strategic insights that are crucial for a successful AI journey. Moreover, leveraging managed security services can provide an additional layer of assurance, safeguarding against potential vulnerabilities and ensuring a secure, effective AI implementation.

AI readiness is no longer an option for financial services firms aiming to stay at the forefront of innovation and customer satisfaction, it is a necessity. Organizations that address the key challenges of data security, access management and technical proficiency through expert partnerships can embrace AI with confidence, unlocking new realms of efficiency, opportunity and growth.

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, now is the time for organizations to embrace a future where AI is a fundamental aspect of their operational ethos. With the right approach and partnerships, the journey towards AI readiness can be a transformative experience, paving the way for a new era in financial services.


Scott Hiemstra

Sales Director – Financial Services

Scott Hiemstra is responsible for leading the Financial Services team for CDW. In his role as director, he is responsible for the short and long-term performance goals, strategic direction, business initiatives and talent development of the Financial Services organization.