Why Digital Transformation Can Pose Stability Risks

DSM Digital School of Marketing - digital transformation

Today, it’s almost impossible to walk into a boardroom, client meeting, or innovation brainstorm without hearing the phrase ‘digital transformation’ bandied about at least once, twice, or — more probably — a dozen times.

The rise of FinTech companies and other digital transformation solutions over the past couple of years has led to a completely new as well as transformed financial services landscape. The changing expectations of customers, cutthroat competition, increasing complexity in terms of regulations, the pressure to streamline operations – in addition to other factors – are driving the push for reinvention as well as innovation.

A new era of open banking has allowed systems to quickly and seamlessly integrate with new platforms as well as applications. Physical banks and paper systems are fast being replaced by robust networked digital ecosystems.

Altering The Fundamental Provision Of Services

Digital transformation is altering how and by whom financial services are provided. This brings benefits to consumers in the form of expanded as well as streamlined access to financial services. However, this digital transformation is also affecting the financial services industry in ways which could lead to greater risks to systemic financial stability.

The digital transformation journey can be extremely challenging. While some organisations have digital transformation in their DNA, the majority of bodies will need substantial foresight and planning. They will need to divest themselves of old habits, re-invigorate cultural norms, upskill their employees as well as  adjust their way of thinking in order to become a digital business. Learning the best way to connect the dots between digital initiatives, strategy, and business enablement will be crucial.

Especially middle market financial services companies have a unique challenge. These organisations need to learn how to navigate the digital transformation journey without the more robust resources that  their larger peers have at their disposal. In addition, they do not have the same level of flexibility and agility as their smaller counterparts. They need to start the journey today—or risk being outranked by the competition or losing industry relevance.

The Need For Soft Skills

The need to balance openness with protection in this connected world will continue to be a significant theme. Through the process of opening platforms to third parties via application programming interfaces (APIs), firms are able to:

  • Unlock value from data,
  • Create synergies with partners, as well as
  • Establish new cloud-based services in a quicker fashion.

We anticipate this to accelerate, with firms thinking more about how they develop, manage as well as secure APIs.

As we’ve said before, technology is rapidly reshaping the financial services workplace. Digital tools are able to do more of the “heavy lifting” so freeing up staff so that they can concentrate on more complex as well as value-added functions. This transition may not always be smooth, but we expect to see firms paying more attention to how humans and digital labour are able to work alongside each other more effectively.

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