Accenture Banking Blog

In a rapidly changing industry and uncertain world, enterprise agility is a basic necessity for sensing and responding to opportunities and disruption effectively.

According to our latest report, enterprise agility is a strategic imperative for financial services (FS) organisations and one where there is substantial improvement required.

Our analysis for “Enterprise Agility: The New Strategic Imperative” is based on a number of our recent research studies, including the 2017 FS Change Survey, in which we interviewed 787 senior FS change leaders; the Transformation GPS Study, which utilised input from more than 220 organisations going through transformation in 50 industries; and the FS Agility Index Study, which surveyed 3,500 FS employees.

In the coming weeks, I will unpack the unique insights into the state of agility within the FS industry and take you step-by-step through our report.

Among the key findings of our analysis of these recent studies is that true enterprise agility delivers significant financial benefits, giving the organisations more than double the probability of achieving top-quartile results compared to the industry average (55 per cent vs. 25 per cent). Truly agile firms also show better long-term performance, about 16 per cent growth in EBITDA over 10 years, 10 per cent higher than the rest of the benchmark group.

However, our research found that FS firms score low on both speed and stability, the two crucial elements that comprise enterprise agility. FS remains in the ‘At Risk’ quadrant of the agility index. This is part of the reason behind supressed financial results, because most firms are not used to handling constant change effectively, but also presents a strategic risk as faster new entrants challenge incumbents.

However, a small group of change leaders in FS are getting better results. These banks and insurers are the ones that managed to rewire their businesses for both continuous change and growth in the future.

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving.” Enterprise agility is also akin to riding a bike, requiring both speed and stability.

In my next post, I will explain why FS firms need to speed up their agility efforts.

To find out more about enterprise agility in FS or to join our FS Change Director Forum, please contact me here, or on Twitter @AndyYoungACN.

To learn more, register to download: Enterprise Agility in Financial Services: The New Strategic Imperative and listen and subscribe to our podcast, Talking Agility.