Having just managed to get over the 10-hour time difference and jet lag on my return to London from Sibos 2018 in Sydney, I thought it would be good to reflect on what, for me, was a great Sibos—and what made it so great.

As you know, our Accenture Banking theme was #embracedisruption. And we certainly lived up to that, whether it was through our industry-leading thinking on blockchain, promoted by David Treat, or Andrew Woolf on the future of talent and work, or Cécile André Leruste on delivering the trade environment of the future.

A personal highlight for me was the discussion led by Alan McIntyre on “What If Payments Were Instant, Invisible and Free?” It was great to hear the bank perspective on the future of payments as well as the fintech view. As you can imagine, these were not always 100 percent aligned—but this reinforced to me the importance of the ecosystem and collaboration, and the need to work in partnership across financial institutions, fintechs and banking product providers (e.g., Finastra to foster innovation). Instead of being satisfied with separate solutions provided by banks, payment system platforms or agencies, customers are demanding end-to-end digital solutions that can be enabled through ecosystem platforms.

For me, Sibos was a great example of collaboration from start to finish.

Another theme that struck me, through multiple discussions, was the value of data—not only to the increasing customer expectations, but also to the banks. Data is a key asset that we all need to embrace and exploit, one that will be critical to the success of banks going forward. Banks of the future will leverage data as a strategic asset to meet customer expectations and build new products and services.

Of course it would not be Sibos without significant discussion on regulation in financial services. But our discussions were not just in the context of meeting regulatory requirements and the resilience of financial services, but also how we can promote and foster innovation (e.g., Open Banking), as well as how we can provide ubiquity and accessibility to a broader set of customers.

Banks are seeking to meet regulatory demands while addressing these customer needs, but again, in the context of increased competition from the fintechs… back to the ecosystem and collaboration theme!

Finally, talent and dynamics in the workforce are changing dramatically. We see an increased focus on customer needs (or potential needs), along with a recognition that current organizational models do not necessarily facilitate a client-centric view. Not only are business needs evolving rapidly, requiring a change from traditional business models, but technology changes are influencing the nature of jobs. The evolution of technology, the evolution of the payments industry, cultural and workforce changes will force traditional organizations to rapidly evolve if they want to remain relevant in the changing landscape. Talent is key to this transformation and the workforce must be considered equally with business and technology changes.

So, that is a wrap for me at Sibos 2018, with collaboration across the ecosystem, investing in data as a strategic asset, innovation in regulation and transforming our talent and workforce all required to truly #embracedisruption.

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