Financial companies to invest more heavily in transformation

Financial companies to invest more heavily in transformation
Accenture finds firms will invest in efficiency and cost control, customer experience, risk and digital

Rebecca Gibson |

More than half of financial services institutions in Europe, Asia and North America will increase their investments in corporate transformation initiatives over the next 12 months to reduce costs, support digital innovation and improve the customer experience, according to Accenture.

A new Accenture survey found that 53% of nearly 800 banking and insurance executives expect to invest more heavily in change programmes over the next year, primarily due to cost pressures, new regulations, increased customer expectations and digital disruption. The remaining 37% said they would maintain their current investment levels.

“Most financial services organisations realise that the disruption of their marketplaces will intensify in the years ahead,” said Andy Young, leader of change programmes for Accenture’s Financial Services Talent & Organization practice. “They understand that their ability to change rapidly and continually will be increasingly vital to their ability to compete in the digital economy. That’s why many are focusing on the speed of returns on these investments and applying ‘agile change’ methodologies to meet shareholder expectations of a payback within one year.”

According to Accenture’s survey, most organisations will invest in change programmes related to efficiency and cost control, customer service and experience, risk and regulatory compliance, digital technology, and channels. They will adopt digital technologies such as big data, analytics, mobile, the internet of things and cloud computing.

“Most financial services companies are looking at new business and operating models that use digital innovations to adapt to new customer expectations and to ward off aggressive new competitors,” said Andrew Woolf, head of Accenture’s Financial Services Talent & Organization practice. “Companies with strong change leadership capabilities and adaptable workforces will be hard to beat; those without them will increasingly struggle.”

Hurdles to adoption include legacy systems, dispersed data and organisational complexity.

“The financial crisis that began nearly a decade ago marked the beginning of a prolonged industry transformation that is now accelerating,” said Young. “Players in financial services must embrace innovation, increase their agility to cope with disruption, and make wise investment decisions about their change programmes in light of their businesses today and in the future. The biggest shift for the industry will be toward putting customers and colleagues back at the heart of change.”

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