Every industry/vertical sits at a different spot on the Digital Maturity Index.

While Wall Street has a fair amount of ground to cover before it catches up to the more advanced verticals, the "Digital Banking" conference in Austin this week proved that the industry is well on its way.

Here are the 5 key takeaways along with a quick 2 minute video of me interviewing Lord David Poole who runs our Financial Services Center of Excellence and a little Street Art action thrown in there at the end as well... (true statement, watch the video):

  1. Digital isn't the "What?" or the "Why?"...it's the "How?"
  2. The race to the middle is real and there's a whole lot of "healthy friction" in getting to the "intersection of...(pick the convergence of any number of functions/divisions/roles etc)" where meaningful innovation/growth occurs
  3. Speaking of "innovation" in Financial Services, this topic and the "How do we do it? Where do we start etc?" found its way into just about every panel I attended
  4. The critical importance of "how well you know your customer" and how you deliver experiences they value through your "people, process, infrastructure, data lakes, insights etc." aka "your system" was another topic that came up early and often
  5. FS players realize they're competing well beyond their vertical as there was broad recognition that they're now competing with the last best experience their customer had...as a human being, anywhere!

In an effort to experiment with different formats for these posts, I figured I'd try including a couple quick and dirty bullets supporting the 5 key takeaways above to see if folks like this better than my overly verbose writing style... ;)

  • Healthy friction includes "strategy/framework/areas of focus vs. execution", "what won't change vs. what will/might" (anyone catch Amazon acquiring Whole Foods this morning? Just sayin'...), "solving for the right problems vs. reacting to problems", "top-down innovation vs. bottom-up innovation and the associated decision making process/velocity", "build vs. buy vs. partner", "physical vs. digital vs. human"
  • Your system includes "how much information you have/collect and how to maximize its value inside every digital/physical touchpoint with your customers", "back-end, front-end, everything in between, the associated data exhaust and the gold nuggets of insights that inform next, best action"
  • Innovation includes "How do you determine what doesn't exist that should and how to go about creating it?", "you don't need to predict the future to win it" and of course innovation questions tied to all of the above and the bullet below
  • Competing on "human experience" has BROAD implications for the industry and triggered simple but very important statements such as "become maniacally focused on a small set of problems associated with what the customer REALLY wants", "learn to challenge the E2E service models that have been in place for years", "look outside your organization for talent and partners with a native understanding of digital", "it's all about people and getting them comfortable with the agile operating model which is really about getting comfortable with constant change, it's a mindset more than anything else", "look for challengers, intellectually curious people with a passion for wanting to change the relationship of folks and their money", "enabling people to fail is so hard, but absolutely necessary in an agile environment", "culture eats strategy for breakfast"

Not sure if the keynote presentations by Citi's Yolanda Piazza and Fifth Third's Melissa Stevens are available online but I will absolutely update this post to share them as it's clear they're leading their organizations to embrace everything above and the results speak for themselves.

And without further delay...here's the 2 minute video of me and our main man David Poole and his take!


E: Alec.coughlin@sapientrazorfish.com; T/IG: @Alec_Coughlin