Accenture Banking Blog

Accenture’s recent results from a joint survey with Oxford Economics show that the financial services sector is well-aware of the opportunities to be gained from full-scale digital transformation and is embracing digital as a means to improve customer loyalty and drive new revenue streams. However, the digital transformation journey is not without obstacles.

In my previous post, I shared the steps banks are taking to reap the benefits of current digital technologies and lay the foundation for new digital capabilities in the future. In this post, I’m going to highlight common digital transformation hurdles and share how banks, and the broader financial services sector, can overcome these hurdles and reap the benefits of an effective transformation.


Strategy plus tactics

While it’s clear that banking leaders are strategically invested in digital transformation, there’s a gap in confidence in executional ability.

Our survey results indicate that the biggest obstacles to achieving desired results from technology investments among banks are:

  • The ability to update technology without disrupting daily activities (53%)
  • The lack of collaboration between IT and the rest of the organization (43%)
  • Regulatory and compliance challenges (43%)
  • Deficits in change management expertise (40%)

There are also workforce considerations. While automation includes the promise of eliminating labor-intensive jobs and freeing employees for more strategic work, there is a culture and people change management impact that should be addressed.


Key action steps

Clearly there is a need for banks to develop strong implementation plans for managing the tactical components of a digital transformation. Below are key action steps firms can take now for a smooth and rewarding transition:

  • Carefully assess the workforce to make sure the right talent is available to get the full value from the technology portfolio
  • Examine the operating model for adaptability to the new digital era and make any needed changes
  • Thoroughly review the applications portfolio and make strategic decisions about what to keep and what to change
  • Designate seamless legacy integration as a top priority
  • Champion an agile and adaptable cultural mindset to support rapid decision making and direction setting
  • Adopt a “fail fast—test, learn and adjust” approach to reduce loss exposure and accelerate value generation

These actions help position banks and other financial services organizations to seize and capitalize on all the opportunities offered by new intelligent platforms, now and into the future.

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