Digital Transformation: The key is an enlightened CEO

Digital transformation in financial services is fraught with challenges. Forget all of the technology headaches and look closer to home. An enlightened CEO is the first step on the journey.

Digital Transformation is no longer a pipedream, it’s one of today’s top imperatives. If you want to compete effectively in a financial services industry awash with increasing competition, you have to be able to offer more to your customers, faster than ever before… (Whilst complying to a plethora of regulations, squeezed budgets, immense high pressure – to name just a few of the other challenges the industry is facing.)

The barriers to entry on this digital journey are more inhibiting than even some of the regulatory directives. Digital might be seen as exciting and cutting edge but it’s tough! And a major reason why the UK alone is wasting some £37 billion a year on failed agile IT projects* could be partly blamed on culture.

A positive culture needs to be initiated at the top. Too often senior individuals appear to be stuck in their old ways of thinking and this does not bode well at all for any organisation. A forward-thinking, enlightened CEO, supported by a like-minded executive team, is the key to implementing and succeeding on a transformation journey. If the CEO does not publicly embrace the digital strategy then quite frankly the future is bleak. To drive through change needs strong leadership and a clear direction.

At the recent Finextra NextGenBanking event held earlier this week we heard some great debates, notably around PSD2 and the ability to comply. It appears the industry is focused on delivering what needs to be done today in order to comply without looking forward and having a master plan for continued success. What we missed is the vision from an enlightened CEO who has a firm view on how he or she will make digitalisation the driver to deliver compliance with PSD2, GDPR etc. and onwards and upwards into the scary world of Open Banking and beyond.

Vision is not the genius. Execution is the genius

*Source: Independent IT consultancy 6point6.