You’ve likely heard the phrase “awash in a sea of change.” During times of great advancement, companies often are distinguished by their ability to manage change or by the degree to which they’re overtaken by it. In the current Knowledge Economy, consumers have almost limitless access to information. That means they’re putting less value on a menu of products and services, and more on useful, actionable intelligence. It’s not surprising that banks are starting to recognize a greater need for shifting to being a source of customized solutions that meet real-time consumer needs.
In the previous two installments in our Flash Foresight blog series, we looked first at how to establish Certainty about the future by understanding hard and soft trends. Then we reviewed some real world examples of companies that succeeded or failed based on their ability to Anticipate problems and opportunities based on hard trends like technology, demographics and globalization.
Of those three, technology is the one already reshaping the banking industry. As one bank executive noted, “the pace of change over the last couple of years has snuck up on us faster than expected.” Incremental change no longer is enough to keep your bank positioned for growth.
Multi-Channel Banking Banks will win by cultivating a reputation as a knowledge leader and by providing a safe, seamless multi-channel experience that makes the customer feel like a VIP. This isn’t an either/or world - banks should find innovative ways to blend the online and in-person customer experience. As Novantus observed, “It’s not just overall activity in the branch that’s changing; it’s the mix and the role: Sales and problem resolution, not withdrawing, depositing or transferring funds.”
Evolving Technologies “A good understanding of where the web is heading has proven to be critical to gaining a competitive advantage in the historical web landscape.” In today’s innovation environment, breakthrough technologies happen all the time. As your bank builds and pursues growth strategies, it’s vital to consider how these new solutions coexist with current technologies, to factor in the ‘future’ we are entering with Web 3.0, and to be aware of the possibilities coming with Web 4.0.
Cybersecurity With the rapid increase, use and evolution of digital banking, the security of your customer data must be at the forefront of your risk management and customer trust building efforts.
Big Data The ability to proactively meet the needs of your customers requires a deep and continual awareness of what your consumers are seeking and doing. The good news is that banks already have access to a wealth of information that can (and should) be used to innovate.
In the Internet powered Knowledge Economy, there’s a new Golden Rule that imparts businesses to give customers the ability to do what they can’t currently do, but would want to if they knew it was possible; assures those businesses that if it can be done, it will; and reminds them that if they don’t do it, someone else will. Knowledge is no longer a commodity – it’s a competitive asset and is vital to growth. As Daniel Burrus states, it’s time to “start crafting strategies to transform how you sell, market, communicate, collaborate, and innovate.”
Transformation is more than incremental change, and it will separate those who thrive from those who are left behind. To transform requires a thorough and radical departure from the norm. Is your bank equipped for the next step?
This is the third installment in a series about using foresight to create winning business strategies. Join the conversation and receive email updates of upcoming posts, click below:
 Leading the Digital Transformation of Banking; Bank Governance Leadership Network Whitepaper; Tapestry Networks, Inc.; August 6, 2014