How the biggest business lenders get digital transformation right

Can large organisations digitise? Quick answer: yes, if they approach it in the right way

Digital transformation affects how a business works, how it interacts with customers, and how the different systems that run the business work together. It’s big and complicated, but it’s possible to do it really well.

Get digital transformation right

How? We asked a panel of experts to join a virtual roundtable. They discussed the opportunities that digital transformation presents, and the challenges – and how some of the biggest commercial lenders have got it right.

Watch the hour-long recording for the inside story.

The panel

Three experts with long histories within the financial services sector discussed the topic, moderated by Trade Ledger’s Consulting Director, Carolyn Goddard. Our panel comprised:

  • Matthew Perry, a Business Design Lead with Lloyds Banking Group
  • Richard Caven, Lead Financial Services Specialist at AWS
  • Devam Ojha, Publicis Sapient’s Senior Director of Business Development, Financial Services

What’s holding them back? The L word – legacy

A poll of the audience found that 85% believed large organisations can digitise. They saw legacy systems as the biggest barrier to digital transformation, but, as Matthew Perry said:

It isn’t a case of can you or can’t you – it’s the case that you absolutely have to do it.”

It’s true that the pandemic led to an accelerated period of digitalisation, as customers, clients and partners came to expect a continuation of service online. Matthew quoted a colleague who joked that the pathogen achieved more in four weeks than digital transformation teams did in the previous two years.

Legacy applies to more than technology

For many organisations transformation means addressing a trickier legacy aspect – described as the ‘legacy mindset’. You can update the technology stack, but you also have to change how business is done. Corporate history has a big pull, and many people, often in high-level positions, are invested in the existing solutions, processes and technology. Making far-reaching yet necessary change involves changing the culture. Matthew compared the approach required to ‘presidential election campaign’ levels of corporate engagement. In incumbents, there will already be solutions sitting in the space, amounting to ‘brownfield’ problems. Transformation thus includes a cleanup operation, to decommission systems.

Impetus must come from the top

Senior executive level sponsorship and even guardianship is essential. The idea of change, and the outcome of change, have to become the mantra of senior leadership. The benefits must outweigh the cost.

A clear benefit of digital transformation is the amount of customer data these projects make available, as Richard said. This allows the organisation to become closer to its customers, anticipate needs, spot bottlenecks in processes, automate compliance and security, and remove the reliance on ‘commercial clairvoyance’.

It’s a people thing

Going through digital transformation has made it easier for lending organisations to work in today’s connected world. Lenders work alongside an array of partners and are part of an ecosystem that is only possible with digital connectivity. Devam pointed out that, in today’s commercial lending businesses, the organisation charts are unrecognisable from even 10 years ago.

Digital transformation is less about the technology than it is about people. It enables organisations to relate better to the people who are their customers, and to the people that build, measure and monitor change within the organisation. Having the right people, with the right skills and mindset, is as critical to success post-digital transformation as it is during the transformative process – the outcome must be sustainable, not just deliverable.

The webinar explores further how this plays out in real life. Give yourself an hour to look under the surface of digital transformation and what it means for your business.

Watch the webinar here. And do get in touch – we love to talk about digital transformation.

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