Masters of change at a moment of truth
The COVID-19 pandemic was a stress test of unprecedented proportions for banks, putting their technology architecture, strategy and workforces under immense pressure. For most, the crisis was a sobering experience that dispelled any illusions about how far they had progressed with their cloud migrations and digital transformation.
Yet amid the many challenges of the pandemic, silver linings could be found in how quickly banks were able to adapt to a new reality. Most worked fast to rebuild their business with a digital core that could support a more flexible workforce, a more agile operating model and a range of emerging customer needs.
Banks worldwide have generally weathered the crisis well, playing a key role in channeling unprecedented public-sector stimulus, displaying flexibility on payments holidays and short-term credit, and rapidly deploying remote interaction solutions to make up for the lack of face-to-face engagement.
Their next challenge, after making technology and business model changes in a matter of months, will be to sustain the agility and innovation beyond the pandemic. The leading banks understand that the pace of change isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon—and they also know that COVID-19 has accelerated changes that would otherwise have taken years to materialize.
The Banking Technology Vision for 2021 identifies the emerging technology trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt the industry beyond the pandemic. The cross-industry survey sample includes some 700 banking IT and business executives from around the world to get their perspectives on the technology trends shaping the world of finance.
2021 tech trends
In this report, we identify five Technology Vision trends that resonate for banks.
COVID-19 catalyzed the biggest reinvention of banking since the global financial crisis. Now, senior leaders at banks are focusing on compressing what had been decade-long transformation agendas into two-to-three-year sprints. They know they cannot fall back on old practices if they are to get on the right side of the digital achievement gap.
Banks with a clear-eyed perspective are continuing to expedite their digital transformations, reimagining everything from their people and their data to their architectures and ecosystems. A new age of banking competition is dawning—one where architecture matters, and leaders will be decided not just on the success of their business plans, but on the ingenuity of their technology choices.