Financial service organizations have untapped potential of which they seem aware. In fact, most pension insurers consider “slow service development” and “inability to carrying out improvements” as the two biggest competitive risks in the future.
So, what are the steps players can take—today—to “pivot to the new,” transforming the workforce to meet competitive challenges? For starters, digital leaders will be those that lead change with a clear vision, focusing on outcomes and value instead of investing in digital applications for the sake of it. And people—customers and workforce—need to be at the heart of the change. That entails involving stakeholders in the design of new services. Like one bank that gathered its workforce and asked, “What processes are the ones you’d most like to not do?”
FS digital leaders will be those that drive change and support the transforming workforce both inside and outside their organizations. Inside requires transforming the workforce, ensuring their skills are relevant. And that operating models are flexible. Outside involves influencing the regulatory scene so that new ways of working are embraced, and developing offerings that serve the extended workforce of freelancers and other third-parties. There is a real urgency to plan reskilling, augmenting workforce by AI, and defining new operating models to anticipate the digital and automated environment. By 2020, more than one-third of the desired skill sets of most jobs will be comprised of skills not yet considered crucial today. Already today, 40 percent of employers report talent shortages.”
“By 2020, more than one-third of the desired skill sets of most jobs will be comprised of skills not yet considered crucial today. Already today, 40 percent of employers report talent shortages.”
To pivot to the new, on-demand services will be key to the transformation to a truly digital business. What do we mean by that? Reacting quickly to changing market demands requires an organization that can access ad hoc resources and skill sets. Yet Nordic financial service representatives do not fully recognize the potential of utilization of leveraging an external workforce, with only about half anticipating a rise in usage in the coming few years. Compare that to global trends, where nearly a third already see project freelance workers being a seamless extension of their own people in the next 2-3 years. And banking leaders anticipate that freelance workers will grow by more than 51 percent over the next year.
Financial services in the Nordic region, and around the world, are at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolutions: digital. Yet, so far, too many players have been too slow to react. And like the horse and buggy manufacturers that hesitated in the face of the burgeoning car industry, financial services players may find themselves plodding forward, and eventually left behind, as competitors race to the future. It’s increasingly clear: The time for action—and harnessing the power of AI before competitors do—is now.