The digital evolution

 

There is much said around the digitalisation of businesses, how they change and evolve to meet market needs and leverage technology. However, are we really innovating and far too often are we constraining ourselves by what has gone before and how we operate today? Are organisations investing wisely? Do we understand how to handle the legacy environment?

Pitfalls

Common observations we make are

  • The solution to strategy/problem has already been defined in the board room with limited understanding or analysis of what the right option might be for their organisation
  • Solutions are often too focused on the technology and not a holisitic view
  • Delivery timelines are often set around expectation rather than reality
  • There is often unease at changing course once on a road even if what you have learnt or external environment changes mean it does not make sense to follow that road anymore

Those that succeed with transforming and innovating, at scale, have a different kind of mindset focused on continuous learning, adaptability and a design thinking approach.

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Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Direction

Organisations need to be moving away from traditional operating models and consider what digitalisation really means from a front to back office perspective. Traditional processes need to be tipped on their head and customers need to be placed at the heart of how the business runs and provides its products and services.

The leveraging of data to

•provide better customer experiences & outcomes

•make better business decisions

•improve quality

•develop insights

•support automation

has to be a critical part of any business moving forward.

There is real opportunity to innovate and rethink the products & services we offer to customers and how the status quo can be disrupted. Technology is the enabler but a focus on “need”, “outcome” and “experience” needs to take precendent and remove the current shackles of what we do. Within Financial Services, we are bound by regulation but the reality is a lot of retail products have not really changed at their core. Technology has introduced different ways to sell and consume the products and services but the underlying product is the same.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Everything is connected

The advancement in technology allows us to think about things in different ways and enable opportunities that might once have been unaffordable or unsustainable. We can rethink business models, access more markets and respond more quickly.

We should not think about our operating models in the traditional sense nor in the traditional architecture blocks. We need to see our businesses as ecosystems that

  • incorporate the relationships between key stakeholders
  • automate the traditional processing
  • see seamless information flows of data
  • are specific to their environment
  • can adapt to market forces and changes
  • leverage specialist services and innovations
  • evolve and develop overtime
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Photo by Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash

Where to start

Starting out on any transformative journey and large scale change/technology investment must be clear it can answer the following key questions…

1.Are you clear on the problem you are trying to solve? Are the key stakeholders aligned on that?

2.How does solving the problem meet with the strategy of the business?

3.Are you clear on the requirements that must be met and the criteria that must be met?

4.Are the tangible benefits clearly understood?

5.What environment does the solution need to operate within?

6.What are the different solution options to be considered and why are we going with the selected solution?

7.How do you determine the best fit for your organisation?

8.What capabilities will be required to deliver & run the change? How do I fulfil that capability?

9.How do we ensure we are able to pivot and change over time?

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Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

The tech

At a high-level when considering how and where organisations are investing from a technology perspective, should understand that..

  • Macro technology decisions made now, will effect how your organisation perform in the medium to long term
  • We have to consider that we are now moving into the age where we are all in tech one way or another
  • The ambition of an organisation and its longevity has to be considered
  • Understanding where an organisation sees its Value and IP is critical
  • Financial Services organisations are data based businesses and always have been. They are ripe to tip traditional operating models on their head and better leverage data
  • Any organisation who does not want to be left behind must understand

The value of its data and

How and what role AI & Machine Learning will play in your organisation?

  • What are the skills & capabilities I need in my organisation for the future?
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Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Key questions

Dependent on the size and age of your organisation there are a number of key questions to consider before making significant investment. This is not exhaustive but provides some food for thought.

1.How are you treating different business lines and managing legacy products?

2.How do you ensure continuation of service and minimal disruption to customers?

3.What is the current and future product mix?

4.Where are your data centres today and is there an ambition to move to a IaaS/PaaS Cloud model?

5.Is the Target Enterprise Architecture mapped out?

6.What is the Road Map to get to that target?

7.How much of the existing estate is mapped out today?

8.How much automation exists in the processing?

9.Do you understand the total cost of ownership from an IT perspective today?

10.How much collaboration is there across the different business lines?

11.Is there clear alignment between the Business Strategy and how technology will support that?

12.What level of migration are you expecting to conduct and what is the quality of the data?

13. Unlucky for some —Are you enabling agility through your designs?

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

A design thinking approach

Place your customers at the very heart of the design process. A customer-centric approach allows you to discover their needs and deliver real value for them. And by creating a test and learn feedback loop you enable evidence based decision making. Which removes the guesswork from development and helps you to bring the right product to market. Using customer testing with interactive prototypes to iterate through design concepts. You can quickly develop an understanding of what a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) would look like.

The accessibility to low-code, cloud, data and other platforms has meant that taking an idea to market, quickly has become more affordable.

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Financial Services and technology

Financial Services is still at an early stage of its digital evolution. Business Models and products are set for huge disruption as we start to better understand how customer needs can be better met.

We are all learning and shifting through the industry disruption, agility will be key to remain relevant. When looking at your future tech ecosystem, in the context of FS, you need to think how these come in to play for your organisation.

  • The customer must be at the centre
  • Leverage of big data
  • Leverage Open Banking and other open data sources
  • Automate decisions
  • AI & Machine Learning for insights & analytics to support Customer Experience; tailor products and support strategic decision making
  • How much of the traditional functions can be automated e.g. Finance; Legal; compliance etc.
  • Utilising IaaS/PaaS solutions
  • Security by design — Data Privacy is critical
  • Utilisation of DevOps
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