Innovation is collaboration

The sooner firms step into the fast lane, the sooner they will reap the tech rewards over the short, medium and longer-term.

Innovation is collaboration

Neal Jannels (pictured) is managing director of One Mortgage System (OMS)

I suspect that when evaluating technology, many people immediately think of thousands of companies locked away in a bunker 24/7 all racing to beat their competitors to market.

This may well be the case for some but its also fair to say that innovation is often a collaborative process, even when it comes to the tech world.

Innovation tends to be based upon a collection of previous ideas and theories which have been tested, manipulated and paired with other solutions in order to make them work. For example, the World Wide Web was created by combining together two previous innovations: hypertext and the internet. Collaborations can also come in the form of great minds.

Sergey Brin met Larry Page when he was giving him a tour of the campus at Stanford. They started the company that would become Google as a way to experiment with search algorithms – but it’s since grown into a suite of technological solutions that have become an integral part of everyday life.

I read somewhere that innovative business collaboration techniques can improve a company’s productivity by as much as 20-30 percent. And with growing numbers of consumers demanding better experiences and quicker response times, we have no choice but to use technology to improve our collaborative efforts throughout the mortgage journey.

One of the main collaborative tech enhancements across financial services in recent times is an application program interface (API). From a technical perspective an API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.

Basically, an API specifies how software components should interact. Additionally, APIs are used when programming graphical user interface components. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer then puts the blocks together.

In short it supports the processing of requests and creates seamless communication between other systems which is a must in the modern mortgage market.

API’s support a host of applications which intermediaries can integrate into their daily working lives to streamline processes and lessen administrative burdens. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems help manage customer data, support sales management, deliver actionable insights, integrate with social media and facilitate team communication.

Cloud-based CRM systems offer complete mobility and access to an ecosystem of bespoke apps. Applications such as Dropbox, and Google Drive can also allow a variety of people within the firm to source the documents they need, share them easily and track progress seamlessly - all thanks to APIs.

These collaborative technology trends are changing the way businesses operate. The mortgage market is still at the beginning of the road when it comes to technology and who knows where we will eventually end up. But what I do know is that the sooner firms step into the fast lane, the sooner they will reap the tech rewards over the short, medium and longer-term.