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Love Change: The Dynamics of Modern Leadership

Change in financial services has become a differentiating factor. With that, the facets of leadership have and are still evolving, with a refreshed focus on the dynamics and instruments of change within organisations. The pace of change is a different proposition now than it used to be. The confluence of technology advances, which continue to occur exponentially, and consumer demand in combination with market and regulatory pressures give the context for the very real challenge of agility for financial institutions (FIs) of all sizes. This means in some cases wholesale transformation of traditional structures, hierarchies and business models, away from not only legacy technology stacks and systems, but also from endemic siloed cultures. Architects often say it is easier to demolish and start anew but with live running workforces and global operations in train, transforming an enterprise on-the-go requires astute and reasoned methods and a considered approach. It goes beyond placing the focus on technology, as the industry is wont to do. What are the core tenets of change and transformation? How does one effect change, enterprise-wide and what are the real dynamics of modern leadership? It takes the vision to identify processes that are redundant or limiting, for example longstanding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) may be redundant within new business and operating models. Or the way in which teams interoperate and report may need to be adjusted; upskilling is likely a contributing factor; HR and recruitment parameters need likewise to be taken into account.  The instruments with which to change course need to be clearly and realistically set on course, but what else is required in order to inspire and influence. Is failure indeed required in order to succeed? This report from Finextra, in association with Mambu, engaged several industry leaders from a range of financial services organisations, to address the dynamics of modern leadership and what it takes to succeed and orchestrate change, not only once but as a constant.



Driving successful Cloud Transformation

Capital market firms face the challenge to evolve at pace with technology, so that they're able to innovate and adapt to the customer’s needs quickly. Cloud is seen as a key enabler to their digital future, however cloud adoption isn’t just about IT infrastructure. How can executives develop a holistic approach towards cloud modernisation to ensure their investments pay off? As ‘digital’ engulfs business strategies, large-scale financial services players need to develop smarter ways to adapt and accelerate technological change. They are also under constant pressure from fintechs operating on agile systems, rolling out products and services at speed. The pace of innovation at large firms often suffers due to the scale of operations, monolithic tech infrastructure, ‘people alignment’ and old ways of working. Challenges brought about by COVID require even greater levels of resilience and agility to navigate. More firms than ever are using cloud-led modernisation as a catalyst for holistic enterprise transformation, and crucially, this should lead to adaptable business models that can sustain growth and weather future uncertainties in an ever-changing milieu. To maximise the value from investment, operating models need to align closely business and tech strategies. A democratised approach needs to be implemented enterprisewide and with that, a portfolio management approach to balance the long-term evolution of the underlying platform whilst pursuing growth with new products and features. Technology modernisation is also an enabler for lean product management practices such as low-cost rapid experimentation for exploring and exploiting innovative opportunities. Organisational, as well as technological change is needed to ensure teams can tap into the acceleration and agility that cloud-based architecture promises. Organisations need a mind shift- moving from a top-down decision culture to an empowered agile workforce that can continuously deliver on strategic business outcomes. This research paper from Finextra, in association with Thoughtworks, is based on interviews with senior leaders on their plans and challenges around digital programmes and cloud modernisation.



The Future of Digital Banking in the UK 2021

Why digital is paramount for innovation leaders. While emerging technology has been leveraged by banking leaders and incremental progress has been made in business-led areas, the modernisation of banking must remain as an evolving journey. To find the right approach, UK banks must ask themselves: what does the digital operating model look like to make this constant innovation sustainable? For an incumbent bank, digital transformation has become a herculean task in an age saturated with technological options, requiring traditional lenders to embrace unpredictability, maintain agility and digitise to the core, which requires support from agile fintech players. Legacy players that are in the process of migrating to the cloud are struggling with application modernisation, data centralisation and security, and as a result, banks that are born in the cloud are at an advantage. However, the cloud is not a solution in itself. From building agile platforms to meet the expectations of demanding customers, to crafting an optimised digital operating model, to instilling a strong work culture that goes beyond diversity, there are central challenges which must be addressed by banks in order to lay the foundations for a successful digital future. Banks now recognise the urgency of collaborating with the leading minds in the fintech industry, to craft and deliver the best products to their discerning customers. Download your copy of the report, in association with Backbase, to gain valuable insights from leading financial institutions and understand what will make UK banks successful into the future. The report includes insights from Atom bank, Coventry Building Society, first direct, HSBC, Investec, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest, OakNorth, Standard Chartered, Tandem Bank, and Yorkshire Building Society. Additionally, join us for a Finextra webinar with Backbase, to gain insights from an industry expert panel discussion on how a future-proof digital banking operating model can reconcile digital and personal - Engagement Banking: Orchestrating the Customer Experience



Is Request to Pay the System for a World of New Norms?

With faster payments going live in the UK in 2008, one could regard the decade-long recovery from the financial crisis as being a journey towards realtime payments. The last few years has also seen the advent of Open Banking, firstly in the UK and subsequently across Europe and elsewhere.  Request-to-pay (RtP) is an example of harnessing Open Banking to serve financial institutions, SMEs and consumers in removing some of the frictions relating to sending and receiving payments for lenders, businesses and individuals. Ahead of its introduction later in 2020, RtP was billed as an integral tool to the transformation of the payments landscape across the world. RtP is being widely promoted in the UK, Europe, the Nordics and the USA, all of which have active industry programmes.  This paper will explore the opportunities for lenders, businesses and consumers provided by RtP as well as the hindrances and challenges that would need to be addressed to move to widespread adoption.  Download the full report below to find out more.