Digital Disruption Causing Anxiety as the ‘New Normal’ for the Financial Industry
- Fujitsu study reveals that majority of executives in the finance industry (88 percent) have already seen their businesses affected by digital disruption
- A higher percentage of executives in financial services than other industries believe that digital disruption makes it harder to make long-term business decisions
- Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority (89 percent) believe that they will be able to thrive in a digitally-disrupted world
Findings underline that disruption is the ‘new normal’ for businesses across all sectors today, and it is fundamentally redefining the way that organizations operate. The financial industry in particular has seen a great deal of increased competition and new entrants to the sector – including the rapid rise of fintech firms and so-called ‘challenger’ banks. Consequently, almost all (98 percent) of finance executives surveyed said they believe their businesses has already been directly affected. A further 72 percent expect this change to continue, anticipating a fundamental change in the industry by 2021.
Such ongoing, significant change has led to financial services leaders expressing concern about the impact of digital disruption. Almost half (47 percent) stated that disruption impairs long-term business decision-making. Furthermore, few within the industry feel that they are in the driving seat of digital disruption, with only nine percent saying they believed that they were actually leading digitalization in their sector – the lowest of any sectors surveyed. However, on the positive side, 62 percent stated that they feel more confident in making the right decisions on digitalization than they were two years ago, while 89 percent believe they will thrive in a digitally-disrupted world.
To thrive, financial services respondents widely recognized (86 percent) that the industry needs to evolve. Two-thirds (65 percent) of finance executives believe that their organizations have to innovate faster to stay relevant. In addition, almost half (46 percent) believe that internally, the C-suite or leadership team is driving their reaction to the challenge. Looking externally, most business leaders identified customers (46%) as having the most influence in terms of driving their organization’s reaction to digital disruption, ahead of competitors (27%), partners and third parties (20%).
The general sentiment of the financial services sector is confident – with more than two thirds (68 percent) believing that digital disruption presents exciting opportunities for them and more than three quarters (77 percent) agreeing that digital disruption is a positive force.
Elenice Macedo, Head of Financial Services Solutions, Industry Consulting and Software Solutions BAS EMEIA, at Fujitsu, said: “The financial sector is feeling increased competition and disruption more than other industries as organizations struggle to update their aging legacy technology infrastructure. Our findings confirm, that they can clearly see the benefits of digitalization, and they are gaining confidence in terms of deploying new technologies to stay relevant and transform their industry. However, financial executives realize that they need support to achieve their objectives, and over half (52 percent) believe that the right partner who can help co-create technology solutions will help them succeed.
Notes to editors
1The “Fit for Digital: Co-creation in the Age of Disruption” quantitative research was carried out in September 2016 by independent research company Censuswide. The survey covered 1180 C-Suite decision makers within mid to large sized businesses across public sector, financial services, retail and manufacturing, including 250 respondents from the retail sector. Respondents were in the US (210), UK (156), Australia (152), Germany (152), Spain (150), France (150), Italy (150), Finland (30) and Sweden (30).
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About Fujitsu EMEIA
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Date: 17 May, 2017