Pairing modern technologies with the right culture 25 April 2021

Banks must align their tools with their organization’s culture to keep pushing the envelope.
As institutions take stock of this past year and look to the future, a digital transformation, and a culture to match, should be high on their priority list. That is the primary takeaway from the 12th annual Efma-Infosys “Innovation in Retail Banking” report, authored by Jim Marous, Owner/CEO of the Digital Banking Report. 
The report was released a few months ago, but it provides incredible guidance to banking executives who are charting a path forward amidst residual uncertainty from the pandemic. To coincide with the release of the report, Jim had Sanat Rao, Chief Business Officer and Global Head of Infosys Finacle, the sponsor of the report, on his “Banking Transformed” podcast. The discussed a wide range of themes from the report.
Any successful transformation is dependent on the underlying technology. “We live in a world where technology pretty much drives everything, I think the truly innovative organizations are going to be the ones who recognize that the application of innovation is going to be incumbent on newer technologies like AI. It's going to be around very differentiated ways of designing products. It's going to be around leveraging APIs to truly create an ecosystem so that banks can move from just offering banking products to actual business solutions to their end customers,” said Mr. Rao. 
While technology certainly plays a key role in any digital transformation, firms that have innovative technology without the culture to match will fall behind. “It is the leadership, culture, and human component behind the technology and innovation process that sets firms apart,” according to the report. An innovative culture may be harder to implement than a new digital tool, but the former is the only way to unlock the most value from the latter. 
The 2020 edition of this annual report concludes with a warning for leaders: While many institutions responded impressively to the pandemic with new capabilities and tools brought to market at record speed, maintaining that pace going forward will be much more difficult. But crises have a way of rendering the previously unthinkable newly possible (and necessary). To keep pushing their institutions to achieve great things, “Leaders must set the vision for the future, while clearing out the obstacles that prevented digital transformation in the past. What stands in the way of changing legacy processes, upgrading outdated infrastructure or upskilling current employees to move beyond the status quo?” Only a culture that doesn’t truly embrace innovation.

Jim and Sanat discuss so much more – you can listen to the podcast here. And download your copy of “Innovation in Retail Banking” now!

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