FS leaders fear being left behind by innovation

More than half (56 per cent) of financial services leaders are concerned that their organisation could be left behind by the pace of technological innovation because they have failed to plan radically enough, according to Fujitsu.

The survey of 800 business leaders and 3,000 consumers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland found rising demand for financial services companies providing a wider range of digital services, with a third of people saying that the way they bank has changed in the last five years.

In addition, 40 per cent of consumers said that technology has played a positive role in how they manage their personal finances, while a further 50 per cent of financial services leaders admitted they could not predict what their sector will look like in five years.

In addition, over half (55 per cent) of financial services business leaders said they are concerned that they are not able to predict what customers will want from their organisation in the future, with 52 per cent saying that public or customer nervousness around new services has stopped their organisation from adopting certain technologies.

Although a similar number (55 per cent) felt their organisation has been a leader in technological innovation over the last five years, 48 per cent worried their organisation will never be able to fully satisfy public expectations.

The importance of innovation to financial services leaders is clear, with 71 per cent believing that technology is vital to the future success and health of their organisation, and a further 35 per cent considering themselves to be ‘innovators’.

However, whilst the view of the role of technology within financial services is a positive one, business leaders are not blind to the risks. Over a third (35 per cent) said that keeping up with regulation and governance and protecting themselves from cyber attacks and data theft (30 per cent) are major threats to their organisation’s success.

At the same time, 42 per cent worried that the public trusts their organisation today less than they did five years ago.

Despite the challenges, financial services leaders were positive about the changes they’ve faced. In fact, while 61 per cent said they’d experienced radical change in the last five years, 55 per cent said the changes were very positive for their business.

Ian Bradbury, financial services chief technology officer at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said: “The country’s financial services landscape has undergone incredible changes in the last five years; the pace at which new technology is transforming the way banks and insurers interact with their consumers is tremendous.

“It’s not surprising that many in the industry feel as if they haven’t put the right foundations in place to take advantage of all that technology has to offer for their business; and their customers. But they are clearly open to the potential of technology and are open to adopting new ways of serving their customers, so now is the time for them to put the right plans in place to ensure they are prepared to tap into the innovations to come.”

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