Banks are discovering that going digital delivers benefits beyond driving efficiencies and lowering costs. Organizations are applying digital capabilities as a key strategic imperative for staying ahead of the competition and creating new business value.

As financial services customers increasingly turn to online to meet their needs, financial services firms are feeling the pressure to make digitization a key strategic imperative. This dynamic is especially prevalent within the banking industry, which faces increasing competition from fintech firms, online-only banks and non-financial platform companies.

Embracing digital capabilities to grow the business

The good news is, recent research conducted jointly by Accenture and Oxford Economics indicates banking executives are recognizing this challenge and viewing digital innovation as a top priority. Not only that, banking leaders understand the drive to digital is to extend beyond merely improving efficiency and controlling costs. Bankers are now embracing digital capabilities as a means to improve customer loyalty, expand market share and create new revenue streams.

Consider these banking respondent results from our survey of 90 financial services technology executives:

  • Nine out of ten have a formal, long-term plan for digital innovation
  • 80% have developed metrics to monitor the value of their technology investments
  • Two-thirds maintain an in-house team dedicated to digital innovation

Banks are already reaping benefits from their technology investments and are ready to expand their reach. For many, foundational technologies like data analytics and cloud have proven their value and opened the door to the adoption of next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Clearing the hurdles to a full digital transformation

However, making the most of these new technologies requires clearing a few hurdles. For example, bankers worry about their digital transformation efforts disrupting daily business. There are also regulatory compliance concerns, organizational disconnects due to the tendency for the IT function to operate as a silo and the lack of change management experience to facilitate an effective transition.

The good news is, there are critical steps banks—and the financial services sector in general—can take to overcome these common challenges in a digital transformation journey and fully benefit from all the opportunities a digital transformation offers.

In this three-part series, I’m going to highlight some of the key results from our research as well as provide insights on the benefits, challenges and right steps to take in your firm’s digital transformation journey. In my next post, I’ll focus on how banks are applying digital technology now as a foundation for a more robust long-term digital transformation into the future.

Get detailed results and deeper insights from the Accenture/Oxford Economics joint study in Digital  transformation in retail banking: From hype to value

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