Doing Digital – Chris Skinner

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Probably one of the most comprehensive books ever written on undertaking digital transformation across banks. Chris is one of the most respected and progressive thinkers in the banking industry and is responsible for nudging the industry along in all matter transformative. He is insightful, considered, and succinct in his observations. If you can only read one book on how run a digital transformation, and to learn from leaders across financial services this is the one…

The Big Messages
  • Banks can change…ish; but not for the best reasons as most significant change is instigated by regulators, competition and investors; all of which is driven out of a fear-mindset as opposed to a growth-mindset. There is perhaps a bigger need for traditional banks to look at challengers, not necessarily because they are immediately disruptive, but their way of operating will mean when acquired by some large, they will cause disruption. Also, challengers are so much better equipped to fix that basics that are broken in more established banks
  • Open Banking is here to stay; this is not just about PSD2 and regulatory compliancy, the ability to use the data now available to third parties through Open Banking should be one of the most significant changes in banking has seen…ever. Partnering can become a core feature of any new banking model that emerges with the aim of looking to leverage the API economy, but this is again not an easy model to operate, and requires a change in culture as well as governance
  • Change the bank or change the leadership; most bank leadership teams think that they are navigating digital well because the have a mobile banking app. Normally counselled by incumbent architects that there is no need to change any of the underlying core systems. This is leaders need to be digitally savvy to challenge the status quo, and drive change whilst running the bank. Digital needs to be a revolution, not evolution
  • Ten-year ticking time bomb; the ability to create a nimble architecture that allows for Agile working cannot be achieved through using middleware. The ability to deflect the question of how to manage core systems opens the door for new market competition. The challenge needs to be solved for more holistically
  • Actually being customer focused; customers are harder to identify and engage with than ever before as most will operate exclusively in the digital world. This is why frictionless journeys and experience online are vital for growth, and retention through driving a better overall satisfaction. Designing any digital proposition and process in the absence of knowing which customer is going to benefit from this, is literally throwing valuable investment dollars down the drain
  • Talent & People; digital world and an extensive analogue workforce has made the search for talent a challenge. There is a need to rethink how people can be retrained/upskilled in newer ways of working and digital technologies. The charge can only be led by middle management, as this is perhaps that largest challenge to navigate with transformation

And by way of summary, using a brilliant quote from Min Hua, Head of Strategy, CMB

“If we transform, we might survive, but without transformation we might die”

Why read this book?

Written for anyone who is looking to try and understand how to deliver digtal transformation in the world of banking. A very comprehensive playbook for do’s and dont’s when it comes to executing genuine, end-to-end business transformation

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