Why a Digital Transformation?

Thierry Derungs

Digital has never been trendier. Have you noticed how much literature there is around digital, digital transformation, new technologies, startups…? What about the banking industry? Is it “digital”?

Almost all banks have had public and secured websites for years.
So why are they suddenly rushing, or even working, on their digital transformation? Aren’t they already digital? Of course, there could be a lot of comments around quality, or service range, or usability, or… But they all have something available and, as such, they should already be in the digital age.

Let’s take a few steps back to better understand.

If we look at rail transportation, it took a century to move from the first steam-powered trains to today’s high-speed trains. Taking the plane at almost any time to travel around the world also took some decades before becoming a day-to-day reality. But having the NASA in your pocket just took… well, a few years! Indeed, how incredible is it that the calculation capacity of our smartphones is the same as the one that sent the first man on the moon?

What amazes me the most is not the new technologies themselves but how fast they have become available to us all.

Then, you also have brilliant new usages that have popped up everywhere. From Facebook to Amazon, from WeChat to Alibaba, these companies have grown thanks to their own clever ideas. But more importantly, they’ve built on them by  getting the most out of this highly-connected new world - you know, the one that is in your pocket!

Speaking of connectivity: that also has been a revolution. I still remember the modem connection music when I was amongst the happy few with a 56Kb/s internet connection at home (thank you in advance for not trying to guess my age based on this… and yes, my kids never heard that music!). Today, your pocket is connected by air at a several Mb/s speed, over 500 times faster than 30 years ago. And we already blame our telecom operators for still being too slow!

All these, together with many other technologies, have fundamentally changed the game rules for all companies. At any moment, a brilliant (or funny) idea can be spread in seconds around the world, fulfil new expectations and raise new ones.

There are hundreds of thousands of startups working hard to find a breakthrough business. And to emerge from this crowd, they all compete on disruption, new models and, of course, usability.

Digital Transformation is not about some “digital stuff” available “somewhere” in a company.

It is not induced by new technologies, even if some of them allow cost reductions or efficiency improvements.

It is not meant to protect ourselves against new comers such as startups. Actually, we love startups as they strongly shake us in our habits and force us to adapt ourselves to this new world.

Digital Transformation is about you: our clients. You have expectations and, tomorrow, you will have new ones. We need to work hard to continue to fulfil these expectations in a fast changing world.

You are the ones driving our Digital Transformation. And we owe it - and our dedication - to you.