Friday, 28 November 2014

The four pillars of digital transformation in financial services

A couple of colleagues have asked me recently what Digital Transformation means for Financial Services and how would I take on such a challenging journey. I thought it would be an interesting post. In my view, Digital Transformation is about changing the entire organization to better serve a connected customer and connected things. It is not only about platform upgrading, application development, re-engineering processes and improving our touch points (physical and digital). It is about upgrading the whole organization.

As an enterprise transformational effort it impacts the whole organization but in summary these are the four pillars of the transformation:

- Culture: that embeds digital in every aspect of the company, that really practice having the customer at the center of everything the company does, that fosters innovation and collaboration, that eliminates silos, level hierarchy and is open for partnerships and learn to play its role in the ecosystem it is located. And most importantly is able to communicate in a transparent way to the employees the implications, goals, successes and learns of the Digital Transformation Plan. BYOD programmes, collaborations tools, acceleration and capital ventures initiatives, social media, internal innovation platforms and mobile workforce initiatives are all initiatives related to Culture

- Organization: or how the organization prepares in terms of capabilities and structure to be able to deliver digital experiences in a competitive cost and time to market.

- Technology: as an enabler for transformation. Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, APIs, Network, Cognitive Computing, would be part of this pillar.

- Metrics: that measures the customer centric digital journey and are coherent with the Business Strategy. We no longer need a Digital Strategy but a Business Strategy for the digital age.

These four pillars are equally important and have to keep up to each other for an effective and successful digital transformation. In my experience if the four of them are not worked and aligned the chances of failing are quite high.

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