Over the past 10 years, the financial services (FS) industry has been facing distinct pressures from regulation, globalization, and the market. Add to that the recent challenges from fintech and niche players, and the rapid evolution of technology, and the FS landscape has turned into a sea of disruptive change.

In order to gain a better understanding of the state of change and how FS firms are tackling it, Accenture recently commissioned a global study. For our Financial Services Change Survey 2017, we interviewed 787 senior executives who are responsible for developing their organizations’ change strategy and/or implementing their programs.

According to our survey, FS firms are investing significantly in change, and intend to strengthen this commitment. The most important change investment priorities for the industry are: efficiency and cost control; customer service and experience; risk and regulatory compliance; and digital technology and channels. Eighty percent of FS firms currently invest moderately or significantly in new digital technologies and channels, and more than half (60 percent) expect to increase this in the next 12 months. Among the digital technologies rated as most important for change delivery are big data and analytics, mobile, the Internet of Things and cloud.

The survey also found approximately 10 percent of the FS firms are more committed to and better at change than their peers. We call them the change leaders.

Change leaders are significantly better at managing change and are achieving much better results from their programs. Their change programs are more likely to be delivered on time (76 percent vs. 55 percent) and on budget (52 percent vs. 45 percent) compared to those of their peers. They also report markedly better commercial performance in efficiency and cost control (80 percent vs. 68 percent), compliance (87 percent vs. 62 percent) and customer service (61 percent vs 53 percent).

Change leaders’ secret to success depends on three factors:

  • Firstly, they have a well-defined digital strategy, a clear vision of the changes that are required to implement this strategy, and a leadership that is committed to the successful execution of these changes.
  • Secondly, change leaders foster a culture that embraces change. They harness the passion and drive of their people, enabling the organization to be more agile and responsive to its customers and other market forces.
  • And thirdly, they have a more professional and effective change capability that delivers the required change outcomes and performance enhancement.

In the next part of this series, we will delve deeper into what these change leaders are doing differently to achieve better outcomes.

To learn more, read the full Banking or Insurance report: Financial Services Change Survey 2017 

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