Financial services firms are investing billions in digital transformation (DX) initiatives in response to both increasing consumer demand for intelligently-designed user experiences and the entry of digital competitors such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google into the financial services sector–yet these initiatives continually fall short. The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant social distancing requirements, however, have made the development and implementation of digital tools and services imperative. As firms are forced to embark on digitization initiatives in response, they must understand that a digital transformation without design will only lead to improved eciency in a soon-to-be outdated service model. Outstanding design is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity for survival in the “new normal.”
Most often, we find that companies are prioritizing digitization of processes, often at the expense of a prioritizing well-designed, customer-centric experiences. Many of these companies will adopt adaptive development methodologies, like the scaled agile framework (SAFe), that prioritize eciency, iteration and technology operations. However, more often than not, customer experience is treated as an afterthought. Ideally, a customer experience-focused strategy requires not only a quality design team, but also a strong commitment to cross-functional coordination, adaptive and rapid decision making, tolerance for uncertainty, and acceptance of learning through failure. In reality, what we’ve seen time and again are frustrated clients feeling bogged down by interdepartmental politics and slow approval processes, vendors placing their own interests above the client’s, and siloed product teams that aren’t able to see the full spectrum of customer experiences.
The problem is that “digital transformation” has become a catch-all phrase to describe the process of making legacy companies digitally native, but it doesn’t always constitute the concept of “transformation” as a whole, which is the crucial element to success. In other words, getting a team of developers and business analysts together to push your digital products to market fast is certaintly valuable, but if those applications aren’t connected to your entire organization’s digital ecosystem, and aren’t serving the client needs in broader, more meaningful ways, then they’re falling short of true digital transformation.
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As AVP of Innovation Strategy at frog, Dr. Toshiharu (Toshi) Mogi leads the Financial Services Practice. With over 20 years of experience, Toshi leads frog engagement teams to incorporate design thinking, emerging technologies, market disruptions, and entrepreneurial methods to help clients identify opportunities, develop competitive growth strategies, and create new innovative products and experiences.
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