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article imageDigital transformation of finance: Mix of leaders and laggards

By Tim Sandle     Jun 26, 2018 in Business
Finance services are showing an uneven path for digital transformation, with some identified leaders and a host of laggards. This insight comes from Forrester Consulting on behalf of consulting firm Ernst and Young LLP.
The main finding from the new report is that those finance firms which implement broad-ranging, customer-centric approaches to digital transformation and those that tend to generate the greatest value. Moreover, as ZDNet surmises from its analysis of the report, it is those company leaders who understand how to create a customer-centric approach which focuses on innovation and increasing revenue are those most likely to succeed.
The report was conducted as an online survey, taking in the opinions of 250 senior-level executives located in North American and working for financial services firms. The survey is titled "Digital Enterprise Transformation: Winning themes of financial service leaders."
The survey focused on what makes a good leader. According to Yang Shim, EY's Digital Enterprise Transformation Leader, Financial Services Advisory: "An unrelenting focus on the customer allows companies to innovate while satisfying customer needs and meeting financial criteria like increasing revenues and profitability, plus driving robust, sustainable growth."
The report contains a number of interesting findings. There key ones are highlighted here.
Leadership traits
In relation to leadership traits, the survey draws out the commonalities that successful digital leaders appear to share. These are: A multi-dimensional focus, customer-centricity, clarity of responsibility, and an unwavering commitment to talent.
Effective leaders also reported that they drive innovation through accountability, coordination and metrics. Plus they have executive authority for innovation and a budget to support the process.
Digital culture
An effective leader still needs the company to functioning as if it believes in the digital transformation goals. The study showed how the most advanced digital organizations can foster a symbiotic relationship between digital transformation and innovation:. This means that firms called out at the forefront of transformation are able to build defined, repeatable and scalable innovation processes.
Those companies that are less successful, termed "laggards" in the report, are more inclined to use a fragmented approach. This lacks formal coordination and there's no evident mechanism to scale transformation.
Appropriate technology
Getting the technology right is also important for steering a finance firm on the right digital transformation path. This includes the importance of equipping employees with the right tools and using technology to facilitate collaboration. In terms of what technology should do, for the most successful firms this is improving efficiency and productivity and implementing new ways of working.
More about digital transformation, DX, Insurance, fintech
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