Most Financial Services Firms ‘Not Prepared’ For Digital Transformation, Research Suggests

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Tens of thousands of financial services businesses are avoiding upgrading their digital systems because they don’t deem digital transformation to be important, research suggests.

Six in 10 (62%) business leaders believe there are other priorities over the next 12 months, according to a nationwide survey of managers and C-suite executives.

Alarmingly, nine in 10 (92%) business leaders said they were not well-equipped or prepared for digital transformation.

Bosses cited “lack of resources”, “lack of skills” and “Brexit” as key blockers to progress.

The findings came in a poll commissioned by digital consultants Procensol about planned digitisation projects, including moving data to the cloud, updating CRMs and overhauling legacy systems.

Censuswide asked business leaders to say how many projects they had planned versus how many they delivered.

The average number planned was 4.3 but only 81% of these were delivered.

Steve Huckvale, Procensol’s managing director, said: “It is alarming to find that the majority of business leaders in financial services don’t feel equipped to cope with a digital future. This is an industry that has faced enormous regulatory changes over the past few years, including Open Banking and, as such, businesses in this sector should be prioritising digital innovation or risk extinction as new players take over.

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“With consumers expecting financial services to provide the same user experiences as they get from Uber or Spotify, businesses in this industry desperately need to innovate to survive. Whether it’s moving to the cloud, updating CRMs or implementing automation, managers need to prioritise digitisation of services now.”

When asked why projects had failed, nearly 6 in 10 respondents (57%) said the issue was either lack of budget or resources. Three in ten (29%) said projects ‘took too long’ to implement.