COVID-19 has been the Great Reset that has changed many long-held expectations and beliefs and leveled many playing fields. Access to technology, at least at the corporate level, has been largely democratized over the last decade. Companies of any size can buy the latest innovations on a subscription basis that matches their scale rather than requiring massive outlays of CapEx that were previously only the purview of the largest players. As a result, COVID has shown that many of our long-held assumptions about the world of work are outdated and no longer valid. Turns out, you really don’t have to be in the office to be productive — Work from Anywhere (WFA) has become a reality for many if not most. Maybe all those flights weren’t nearly as necessary as we thought they were. Could be that virtual conferences are more useful than spending days on the road in bad hotel rooms.
Dissolution of trust and changing markets
Along with the implications of the pandemic, a wave of social unrest has crested over the last year. People are rightfully demanding equality and access to opportunities. Last summer’s social justice protests came at the same time as a massive and way overdue push for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) in the corporate world. In parallel, our trust in traditional institutions is dissolving and shifting toward small business and technology. Gallup results show that, between 1979 and 2018, the average percentage of Americans expressing confidence in major institutions like public schools, the Supreme Court, Congress, newspapers, and big business declined from 45% to 27%. Accenture reports that one-third of banking revenue growth in Europe has been captured by the 17% of industry players who entered banking over the last 13 years. Likewise, Accenture also reports that for insurers, between 2020 and 2025, about $200 billion in revenue opportunity will come from new risks, products, and services.
Connecting the dots leads to only one conclusion: we’re living in an age of ever accelerating change that will leave very few of our societal rocks unturned. Combined with the reshaping of society and work, prompted by COVID but really driven by our rapidly advancing technology, there’s a massive opportunity for Financial Services to significantly scale bottom lines while driving equally significant social impact and change.
Evolution of technology
That technology tsunami hasn’t spared the Financial Services industry. Blockchain and digital currencies have upended some of the fundamental roles played by FSI, from facilitating value exchange to providing for secure storage of wealth. The rise of meme stocks like GameStop and AMC, fueled by retail investors pairing the power of social networks like Reddit with real-time trading apps like Robinhood, have challenged how we see the influence and sway of traditional players like Wall Street trading firms. A recent Deloitte report highlights a survey of 195 US financial institution leaders found that more than three-quarters felt that the pandemic uncovered shortcomings in their firms’ digital capabilities. Respondents also cited cloud, cybersecurity and data privacy, and data analytics as areas their companies prioritized for increased investment.
That same Deloitte report (page 7) also covers new data flows as one of the primary future growth drivers for FSI. While they look mostly at external sources of data or data about customers (i.e., “harnessing data to generate offerings that put customers front and center”), we would add data about the organization’s own operations to that value list. As we covered in The Decoded Company, turning those data lenses inward to understand your people, processes, and platforms can provide a far outsized return. This is especially true in highly regulated environments like financial services in which processes are complex, require multiple approvals, and can cost significant lost revenue if they are too slow or are error prone and manual.
Turning those lenses — and adapting to our new WFA environments — means fully digitizing and virtualizing their business and workforce. PwC has included this in their seven Macro trends that matter and their impact in a post–COVID-19 world, highlighting that “firms face unrelenting pressure to boost productivity through the digitization of the business and the workforce.” They call out the need to rethink the organization by adopting modern management approaches and embracing new ways of working, which we collectively refer to as Enterprise Orchestration. Forbes calls out a similar challenge in their 6 Trends That Will Shape The Financial Services Industry In 2021, pointing out that the pressure cooker that forced rapid innovation in the financial sector at the start of COVID is now the expected pace of change. Conductor is one of the world’s leading tools for exactly that and has an extensive track record in implementations to lead major transformations and new ways of working.
To effectively help financial services organizations compete and thrive in what we expect to be increased market volatility over the next decade, we believe there’s a new business model required – centered in Enterprise Orchestration – to establish a constant state of transformation. We work with financial institutions to tech-enable the development and operationalizing of this model to support continual innovation. Our award-winning collaborative work management platform, Conductor, is proven platform for innovative financial services organizations to thrive in what we term – today’s Enterprise Orchestration Era.
Enterprise Orchestration Era Webinar
For today’s leading enterprises, we believe it’s about conducting the symphony of your best players so that they’re all in sync, on time, and playing together, and we regularly share more about our work with our customers in our ongoing Enterprise Orchestration Era webinar series. We invite you to watch this webinar on demand, specifically focused the Financial Services sector.