To succeed in today’s ecosystem-driven digital economy, businesses must seize opportunities to establish rules and standards for entirely new industries.

In my previous blog posts in this series, I introduced Accenture’s Technology Vision 2017 and took a brief look at how four trends—the growing role of AI, ecosystem power plays, access to an on-demand workforce and ‘design for humans’—will impact financial services (FS) organizations. In this post, I look at how another trend, identifying opportunities in uncharted territory, adds value.

The ecosystem economy is young. There is a lot of uncharted territory. There is much work to be done as regulators and governments struggle to keep pace with innovation. FS organizations have the opportunity to take a leadership position.

Accenture’s Technology Vision 2017 predicts:

  • In five years’ time, there will be numerous instances globally where governments will cede rule-making authority to industry groups or, minimally, enact regulations that were designed by industry consortiums.

With an established authoritative role and products and services that encompass every aspect of lives and lifestyles, FS providers have the opportunity to take a leadership role in the definition of standards. This will help to address the emerging challenges of governance, accountability and digital trust, and spur adoption of exciting technology that will profoundly change the world over the next decade.

FS organizations recognize the opportunity

Both the banking and insurance executives who responded to the Tech Vision survey are aware of the opportunity that uncharted digital territory represents:

  • 66 percent of bankers say industry regulations have not kept pace with technology advancement; 75 percent agree they have a duty to be proactive in writing the rules.
  • 53 percent of FS executives believe that organizations that do help define a new digital industry will gain freedom to innovate.
  • 73 percent of insurers believe their organization is entering entirely new digital industries.

How will this impact the talent and organization of FS companies?

What lies ahead for organizations is, in many ways, a blank page. Active participation to help define new standards and address challenges will assist them to position themselves within new ecosystems, pioneer uncharted terrain and influence customer behavior. But it will require keen awareness of key issues.

Among other things, FS organizations should:

  • Create a special team to ensure security policies and measures are current, aligned and robust enough to safeguard against fraud and other risks in a more open environment.
  • Join and actively play in all the right forums that set directions for industry rules and standards.

Key decisions will also impact organizational structure and strategy. For example, legacy regulations in Japan limit a bank’s ownership of non-finance companies. As regulators in Japan consider fintechs to be technology firms, not financial firms, megabank Mitsubishi UFJ is building an in-house financial technology R&D division to deliver the innovation it needs.

To read more about how FS organizations are delving into new digital territories and setting standards, and how they can engage in this opportunity, download Accenture’s Technology Vision 2017 reports for Insurance and Banking.

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