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Digital Leadership in the Digital Era

The hurdles and pitfalls of achieving digital maturity.

Digital Leadership in the Digital Era

Too often we fail to talk frankly about the hurdles and pitfalls companies confront on the journey toward digital maturity. One thing is certain: Nearly all financial firms must tackle the same core challenges. The good news is that there are proven strategies that can help make the transition a little smoother.

Challenge #1: Budget

Innovation is expensive. New infrastructure built on new technologies commands a great deal of upfront investment.  

Strategy #1: Consider outsourcing. SaaS is now ubiquitous and largely eliminates huge upfront investments. Cloud-based platforms tend to be more agile and don’t require ongoing maintenance. In addition, you can turn over parts of your business to companies who can help you deliver a better customer experience, facilitate more secure and comprehensive data management and even help streamline and organize day-to-day operations.

Challenge #2: Regulations

According to a recent study by ESI ThoughtLab, Wealth and Asset Management 2022, over the next five years financial executives expect a “growing maze of global regulations” that will increase compliance costs and the costs associated with international business.

Strategy #2: Focus on data management. Data management should be a top priority right away as it facilitates a more seamless digital transformation as you scale up new technologies. Leading-edge data management systems can increase visibility and help decision-makers locate, predict and uncover risk. Data management should be a top priority right away as it facilitates more seamless digital transformation as you scale up new technologies.

Challenge #3: Lack of Initiative

According to ESI ThoughtLab: “Industry executives agree that to become digital leaders, firms need to go beyond improving skills to completely changing the culture of their organizations.” Too often leadership fails to embrace failure. Employees feel straitjacketed, and unable to experiment and pursue innovation.

Strategy #3: Nurture a culture of innovation. Successful firms find executives who buy in 100 percent across every vertical, across every function. Executives should be committed to the vision. If there's foot-dragging at the top, there will be foot-dragging at all levels.

In addition, look to bring in leaders who have done it before. If you don’t have the culture now, bring in those key players who have been there and implemented new systems and technologies in the past. Experience is transformative.