In a digital era, it's hard to imagine any organization not being able to change and evolve as quickly as the world around it. But while technology is one part of the equation, organizational culture and strategy are another and there are few institutions that have had more difficulty adapting than banks.
Despite their massive revenues, they've been unable to keep up with the pace of innovation set by startups and other fintech companies. The result? Big banks are struggling with digital transformation efforts, which ultimately means a lack of innovation for customers as well as employees who might be more inclined to look elsewhere for better opportunities.
Despite their size and reach, the world's biggest banks are still trying to get their digital transformation right.
It's not for lack of trying--or money. Banks have spent billions on technology, acquisitions and re-shaping their workforce over the past decade in pursuit of a more digital future.
But despite all this investment, progress has been slow and uneven across the industry as a whole: many banks still struggle with basic things like data storage or finding talented staff who can make sense of it all.
"We're seeing some great successes but also some areas where people need more help," says Jamie Dimon CEO at JPMorgan Chase (JPM) & Co., which has invested billions into new technologies like blockchain since its acquisition of Bear Stearns in 2008
The problem isn't technology, but a lack of culture change.
Banks have a culture of risk aversion, which means that they're afraid of losing their customers and making mistakes. They're also afraid of making the wrong technology choices and people choices.
Bankers are trained to be conservative, so they don't want to take risks with new technology or new hires that might make things worse rather than better. In addition, banks tend not to hire people who will rock the boat too much--they want employees who fit in well with existing corporate cultures.
Banks need to transform their value propositions. Banks have traditionally been focused on product, not experience. They are still trying to retain customers by offering them more products and services, but this doesn't work anymore because customers can get those same products and services from other providers who offer better experiences.
Banks need to focus on customer experience instead of just offering more products and services because that's where the real opportunity lies: The right experience will make people want your product or service; it won't matter if your competitor offers something similar as long as they don't have an equally good experience (or better).
Disruptive startups are making life more difficult for traditional banks.
While startups may be creating a lot of noise, the real threat to traditional banks is that they are disrupting traditional business models. For example, new digital banks like Monzo and Starling Bank have been offering customers cheap packages that include free international transactions and no overdraft charges.
These startups also offer better technology than most established financial institutions--they're using AI to help customers manage their finances better or even predict when they'll need money next--and deliver a superior customer experience through their apps' user interfaces (like chatbots).
This makes it harder for older institutions with legacy IT systems to compete with these disruptors on price or convenience alone; if they want any chance at all in this new world order, they'll need an overhaul of their entire infrastructure as well as a change in mindset about how consumers want them treated today versus yesterday
Digital transformation doesn't mean replacing all of your legacy systems at once. When you're trying to change the way you work, it's important to start small and focus on the most important things first. You can't get bogged down in details or let yourself get stuck in a rut by trying to do everything at once.
Be agile and adaptable: The best way for companies to succeed with digital transformation is by being agile and adaptable--and that means not doing everything at once!
Banks have hit a wall when it comes to digital transformation, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are still many obstacles for banks that need to be overcome before they can truly transform into more nimble organizations.
One of the biggest challenges is that banks have a lot of legacy systems in place that make it difficult for them to change rapidly and efficiently.
Banks also have to deal with regulations around security and privacy--which means they can't always use new technologies in ways that would benefit their customers without first getting approval from regulators or legislators.
Finally, startups are disrupting traditional business models by offering better alternatives at lower prices (think Venmo vs checking accounts).
This makes life more difficult for traditional banks because it forces them into an uncomfortable position where they must compete against companies who are better equipped than ever before due outpace their competitors with innovation but don't always have access needed resources like capital or talent pools needed build out those innovations quickly enough
The world's biggest banks are still trying to get their digital transformation right. The problem isn't technology, but a lack of culture change. Banks need to transform their value propositions and find new ways to serve customers in an increasingly competitive environment where disruption is becoming more common every day.
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