Leaders of U.S.-based financial services firms are feeling extraordinarily confident. And all signs suggest they are moving quickly to deliver on their transformation agendas. The big question is whether they are moving in the right direction to compete in the 21st Century marketplace.
Financial services CEOs are feeling bullish. Very bullish, indeed. Consider this: in a recent survey of US financial services CEOs, 98 percent expressed confidence in their company’s growth prospects over the next three years.
They recognize that their markets and models are being disrupted. But 95 percent see this as more of an opportunity than a threat. In fact, 84 percent seem to feel they are already actively disrupting the sectors in which they operate. Almost nine out of ten CEOs say they are personally prepared to lead their organization through the radical change that is upon them.
Certainly, when compared to their global competitors, US-based financial services firms seem to be ahead on the road to enterprise transformation. According to our data, while they have achieved more than their global counterparts, there is still a small percentage that have achieved ROI from their digital transformation journey. However, encouragingly they have already adopted AI in some of their processes and we expect that number to grow. They are almost three times as likely to say their technology investments are largely strategic rather than tactical.
|Percent of financial services CEOs that say they…||Global||US|
|Are confident in their company’s growth prospects over the next 3 years||90%||98%|
|Are personally prepared to lead their organization through radical transformation||71%||88%|
|Have already achieved significant ROI on their overall digital transformation program||5%||14%|
|Have already adopted AI in some of their processes||12%||32%|
|Believe their technology investments to be largely tactical versus strategic||42%||13%|
My concern, however, is that some financial services organizations may be driving headlong towards the wrong destination. A lot can change in the course of three years. And nobody truly knows what customers will want and expect from their financial services firms by then. Agility and flexibility will be key.
My conversations with the CEOs of leading financial services firms suggests there are five things that companies can do to help improve the flexibility of their transformation journey.
What characteristics should your organization be focusing on? Here are some of the key characteristics of the 21st Century Enterprise:
To be clear, I view this year’s CEO Outlook data as a very positive sign that US-based financial services firms are undergoing real and sustainable transformation. The fact that CEOs are highly confident in their strategies and personal skills is encouraging.
But remember – it won’t be the first to finish their transformation journey that will be the winner of tomorrow’s customers but rather the ones that reach the right destination at the right time. Make sure your organization is sprinting in the right direction.
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