Equipment finance organizations face interesting times. Not only are we seeing the speed of digital change accelerate in the industry; companies are also wrestling with what the new normal will look like in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One certainty: equipment finance will, like other industries, need to become even more digital.
This trend is clear in the Accenture Technology Vision for 2020, our annual review of the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology trends that hold potential to disrupt businesses and industries. The survey sample this year included 60 North American equipment finance IT and business executives to get their perspectives on the trends shaping the market.
Our research shows that the pressure for digital transformation continues to grow as we move into what Accenture calls a post-digital world. The physical distancing demands of the pandemic are driving this forward even faster. In this environment digital is not new to people, nor is it still a differentiating advantage for organizations. Doing the digital basics is no longer enough—firms need to use digital technology to elevate the human experience
These themes are resonant for equipment finance, where companies face rising competition from digital-savvy alternative lenders like Fundera, OnDeck, LeaseQ and LiftForward. The leaders know that now is the time to transform front- and back-office finance activities and operating platforms to improve speed, efficiency, costs, accuracy and the customer experience.
As they accelerate digital transformation, leading lenders understand that in the post-COVID landscape, people need technology solutions more urgently than ever. But they also understand that people have higher expectations of the technology than they did five or even two years ago.
Business value versus human values
Navigating the imbalance between business value and people’s values is a key challenge for equipment finance executives now and continuing into the future. Customers, employees, business partners and other stakeholders are not against technology. On the contrary, they find its potential to be compelling and exciting. However, they are often disappointed by the technology companies’ delivery.
The reason for this is that many businesses are developing and deploying that technology using the playbooks of decades past. This could result in disjointed customer experiences or a lack of transparency about how data and algorithms are used to make decisions that affect people’s lives.
To truly bring a human touch to the next decade, the new models that equipment finance enterprises build must be rooted in collaboration. This theme is explored across four trends in our full report:
- The I in Experience: Helping people choose their own adventure
Redesign digital experiences with new models that amplify personal agency. Turn passive audiences into active participants by transforming one-way experiences into true collaborations.
- AI and Me: Reimagine the business through human and artificial intelligence (AI) collaboration
Take a new approach beyond deploying artificial intelligence for automation alone, and advance into the new frontier of co-creation between people and machines.
- Post-COVID CX: Connected customer experiences in an omnichannel world
Focus not only on ease of transactions, but also on profitable, personalized interactions at relevant touchpoints.
- Innovation DNA: Create an engine for continuous innovation
Tap into the unprecedented scale of disruptive technology available today. Build the capabilities and ecosystem partnerships necessary to assemble the organization’s unique innovation DNA.
Lenders must deliver more human-focused experiences, in line with what people have come to expect. Besides a few digital leaders, equipment finance has not kept up with the pace of digital change in many other industries, and the gap between equipment finance companies and their customers is apparent. Closing this distance is imperative. To learn more, download our Accenture Technology Vision for Equipment Finance 2020 report, which explores the implications of a post-digital future for equipment finance firms.