Accenture Banking Blog

As banks turn to the cloud to transform their operations and catalyze growth, many are still searching for silver linings. Our multi-sector survey, Modern Cloud Champions, found that 65% of banks are not capturing the full value they expect from the cloud. 

Some of the most common barriers banks run into on the way to cloud transformation are talent and ways of working, including culture. In this blog series we’ve been exploring the power of “The Three As”—alignment, ability, and adoption—to overcome these challenges.  

In this post, we’re going to take a deep dive into adoption. 

Winning the last mile of cloud transformation 

The last of the three “As,” adoption refers to embracing the new mindsets, behaviors and ways of working needed to capitalize on any new technology. Adoption is what carries a bank through the last mile of a major tech change like a cloud transformation. In the third issue of Accenture’s Banking Cloud Altimeter, the digital transformation expert Simon Cooper neatly expresses its power: 

“We’re coming off an era where tech organizations were made up of lots of specialists—in programming, in business analysis. That old model doesn’t work in a modern engineering world of continuous integration, continuous delivery. You need people with a much broader range of capabilities. That’s the biggest cultural change, figuring out how to get people to embrace the new world of DevOps. They’ll feel more fulfilled seeing a faster time to market and growing their skill set.” 

–    Simon Cooper, Accenture

Accenture research shows that four organizational attributes track closely with adoption. 

The first is flexibility, which empowers workers with the right tech and policies to allow them to do their best work. It also democratizes access to the data, tools and technologies within a bank.  

Second is strong leadership, which uses inspiring leaders to model future desired behaviors, champion new skills, and create the right culture. 

Third is collaboration, which encourages sharing, cross-business teamwork and the development of communities of practice. 

The final attribute is a growth mindset and a culture of continuous learning, which builds the willingness and ability of leaders and employees to try new things, learn from experience, and pursue improvement. 

Creating a culture of continuous learning 

This last attribute is particularly important for successful cloud migrations, since it empowers every member of the bank to master the new skills the cloud requires.  

The first step toward creating a culture of continuous learning is adopting a growth mindset. That means recognizing that anyone—regardless of age or education level or job description—can pick up new skills over the course of their career.  

This might seem counterintuitive, as it contradicts the widely held belief that mature workers cannot learn or are harder to train than younger ones. But learning research has persuasively demonstrated that every new learning experience can create new pathways in our brains, and that the number of pathways possible is limited only by the effort of the learner—not their age. 

The secret to helping unlock learning for all workers is creating the right sort of learning experiences. Even at their best, traditional workplace training tools like seminars, workshops, and correspondence courses have been less effective/non-effective at achieving this. 

Microlearning is much more promising. It breaks up large, complicated concepts into small chunks that easily fit into the lives of working learners. While simple in theory, breaking down complicated material into small lessons without losing any crucial transmission of knowledge is a deep field of expertise. Done correctly and delivered with the right tools, microlearning makes fast, effective learning on virtually any subject possible for financial services professionals. 

The right tools, in this context, must include a learning platform that turns each member of the workforce into a self-directed student. That means a platform that: 

  • Can help deliver new material in “byte”-sized chunks of microlearning that can be quickly absorbed just before they are needed. 
  • Can be accessed at anytime, anywhere and with any device. 
  • Helps Connect learners to their peers, so they can share progress and recommend courses to friends. 
  • Can learn about its learners—and adapt to the needs of individual users. 
  • Helps Leverage leading/trending knowledge available from curated subject matter experts. 
  • Offers continuous engagement to help weave itself into everyday work. 
  • Is gamified, to encourage a sense of fun, achievement, and friendly competition. 

The details in the data 

The banking cut of our Modern Cloud Champions research combines insights from over 1,100 banking executives with statistical modelling to help identify what banks that win in the cloud are doing differently. We found that, compared with their peers, banking cloud leaders are: 

  • 17% more likely to embrace a spirit of cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration; 
  • 8% more likely to embrace a culture of continuous learning across leadership and workforce; 
  • 7% more likely to embrace frequent experiments or new ideas in search of innovation: and 
  • 1.2 times more likely to operate cross-functionally to reach their cloud and digital transformation goals. 

This research also help identify another sector that offers a glimpse of the future of cloud transformation in banking. Communications, media and technology firms are, in general, much further along their cloud transformation journeys than banks. The data we uncovered about these industries suggests banks may be able to accelerate their own cloud journeys by copying the strategies and tactics of communications, media and tech cloud leaders.  

Compared to their peers, cloud leaders in this sector are: 

  • Twice as likely to embrace a spirit of cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration; 
  • Nearly twice as likely to use frequent experiments and new ideas to find innovations; 
  • Twice as likely to offer their workers personalized, customized training powered by data and tech; 
  • 9% more likely to use microlearning to help workers acquire new skills; 
  • 14% more likely to provide workers with the most up-to-date tech to perform their jobs; and 
  • 11% more likely to depart from traditional hierarchy, enabled by access to data. 

Embracing continuous change to help drive adoption 

Our Modern Cloud Champions report also found that cloud leaders use five strategies to overcome key barriers to cloud outcomes. From the perspective of adoption, the most important one is helping drive culture change through experimentation and adoption.  

That means: 

  • Leaders are required to empower, recognize and reward new ways of working.  
  • The organization overall is required to value and encourage continuous learning. 
  • Taking risks and making errors would need to be seen as acceptable if one learns from them. 
  • Experimentation and testing new ideas in search of innovation is common. 

The third issue of Accenture’s Banking Cloud Altimeter also includes some helpful advice on how banks can train employees to help drive adoption.  

“The most successful banks create a constant pipeline of skilled workers by rethinking how they train employees. They offer one-on-one coaching, online classes, and virtual discussions to develop new technology skills. More importantly, they encourage employees’ innate curiosity and desire to grow, giving them the time, space, and support to seek out these growth opportunities on their own. This produces a workforce that not only has the requisite cloud skills but is also generally more digitally savvy.” 

Achieving these outcomes is easier said than done, of course. If you’d like to discuss your bank’s talent challenges and how Accenture can help, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached here. 

You can also find the full third issue of the Accenture’s Banking Cloud Altimeter here. 

To learn more about our Modern Cloud Champion survey visit the Accenture website.
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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors. Copyright© 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks of Accenture.