Top 5 Drivers for Financial Services Leaders in 2020

In the lead up to the 2020 edition of OPEX in Financial Services, we outline the Top Priorities for OPEX Leaders in Financial Services and highlight relevant sessions at the upcoming event to help you lead your financial services organization to success.


1. Driving Holistic Enterprise-wide Change

Large-scale holistic change is a key focus for OPEX leaders in 2020. We spoke to industry leaders about the necessity for OPEX leaders in Financial Services to be driving forces behind holistic change at their businesses. Leslie Behnke, Head of Lean Six Sigma Business Excellence at HALO Branded Solutions, believes “it is necessary to start with that lens of having the widespread technical and process competency of what needs to be done, overlaid with the areas of change and people. Otherwise you will be either a) not successful or b) not as successful as you could be.”


2. Creating a workforce for the future to deliver impact

As the financial services industry continues to grow and evolve, there is a need to develop skillsets, re-imagine leadership, re-route skills and hire new talent to deliver on OPEX and growth agendas. The greatest challenge to OPEX – highlighted in the Operational Excellence in Financial Services Industry Report conducted by the PEX Network – was talent Management. Byron E. Johnson, Operational Robotics Leader at Unum, noted the importance of putting together a program that focuses on skills training and new talent. “A lot of companies are trying to organically develop or hire FTEs, to manage ongoing transitions. Hiring from the outside requires a robust, talent acquisition, on-boarding and training program. For internal resources it is very important to institute a tool that screens the person’s ability to accept and champion change along with a new skills training program.”


3. Keeping Up with the Pace of Digital Transformation

From the research conducted in the lead up to OPEX in Financial Services, the top priority for OPEX and Business Transformation Leaders is the pace of digital transformation. The need for aggressive technological growth to keep up with the pace of your competitors and digital natives has become top of mind for the majority of business leaders.

With the rapid growth involved in digital transformation, speed is needed to keep stride when optimizing your business processes. The Operational Excellence in Financial Services Industry Report highlighted a trend likely to impact financial services in the near future being the need to streamline technology. A respondent noted “There can be so many different systems in one company, it is necessary to bring them all into one system before the real work of process improvements can be done”.


4. The Need for Capacity Modelling and Resource Allocation

The demand for creating capacity and resources in business transformation has long been an important variable for business leaders. With the addition of time and budget constraints, OPEX and business transformation leaders are now needing to focus more heavily on process mining, re-allocation of skills, and performance management. All too often, being under-selective can damage the viability of meaningful projects, when resources are spread too thin. A poorly implemented project can be cut short by other priorities, departmental disputes, and a lack of resources/funding. Difficulties such as these can leave a once promising project unrecognizable, be it through a lapse in focus, or through restraint-led restructuring.


5. How to Satisfy Customer Demand

As the financial services industry continues to grow and develop there is a need to deliver new, self-serve, digitally enabled products, and services to customers quickly. Companies such as Amazon are able to offer people the option to purchase a product and receive it on the very same day. With this in mind, customers do not tend to differentiate when it come to their financial providers, and so expect the same level of service. Creating a customer-centric focus with culture transformation is a major driver for OPEX, investing in components such as predictive analytics that can forecast customer requirements, is becoming top of mind for leaders.

Customer expectations are shifting and the financial services industry isn’t immune to these new demands. The growth in areas such as big data, social media, and the capability to find or buy nearly anything you need, mean that people are accustomed to prompt, personalized experiences. Everything is available at your fingertips, and the way businesses distinguish themselves is evolving.


Download Top Priorities for OPEX Leaders in Financial Services for detailed insights into how to transform your business by getting your priorities in order, and the sessions at OPEX in Financial Services Summit 2020 that will help you get there. You will also get to read our exclusive interview with Andrew Spanyi, Author of Consultant & Innovation Analyst, and learn The Key to Success with Digital Transformation in Financial Services. Still want more? The Operational Excellence in Financial Services Summit 2020 is the premier event for you to hear from leading practitioners in finance, participate in invaluable workshops, and network with top Finance Leaders in Operational Excellence. Book your place today!