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Revolution! Now!

The technology explosion is making so many new far reaching opportunities visible that new challenges have appeared or old ones have become even more challenging. 

The first that many of us meet in our innovation work is the difficulty to choose between exponentially growing alternatives.

The second one is to get our audience to understand that delivery is not a matter of months - but years.

From this follows a third challenge: to keep the focus on what has been started and not move the attention to the next sexy thing.

The fourth challenge is to understand that an innovation is not there when it technically in place - only once a critical mass of user have migrated. Too often this is left to somebody else - or the obvious choice - the existing customer organisation is NOT employed for selling it in (luckily we were able to get our branch network to convince also senior citizens that e-banking codes were needed also on call centers…).

This leads to situation where far too much time is lost and money spent on:

1. Prioritizing and reprioritizing endlessly - instead of trusting vision and hunch. 
2. Spending more on making a business case for an investment than the investment itself. And allowing fighting departments to make fantasy business cases (they have to - to get any share of tight budgeting..)
3. Asking customers what they want - they may have some good hints - they have seen elsewhere - but they cannot know what they really want. We should know.
4. Protecting old earning models - instead of earning from new models
5. In-house innovation work  - instead of systematic and widest possible networking - also with competitors.

Looking back at some main milestones (there are 10s of smaller ones along the path….) and then looking forward to the next potential ones - based on my own experience from banking.

1. Back in the late 70s somebody asked why we could not organize banking access to people at work and at home. e-banking was launched in 1982.
2. All banking services were gradually added. Result:  no need to leave home for it and the combined cost of banking in Finland was cut in half (customers do pay every cent - not always knowing it……)
3. E-banking one time codes used also when logging in to public sector and other 3rd parties - personal codes also used in work tasks - and also for signing all sorts of contracts.  Result: biggest boost for e-society, huge cost saving from avoiding investment for parallel tools and strong customer satisfaction from being able to use already familiar and trusted e-banking tool.
4. E-banking used also for receiving and sending e-invoices - just like payments in 4-corner model. Savings estimate in Finland 3,1bn/year. EU some 230n…..
5. E-invoicing and row specific card payment data used to automate and make accounting and cash flow estimates real time. 4+5 = cutting SME-administrative cost in half……..
6. Using real time accounts and cash flow estimates to automate risk evolution for lending, investments, partnering etc - and connect it all to CSDs - real time assets (and liabilities) - owning, transacting, reporting etc

Needless to say that we are seeing many new opportunities from interconnecting new ecosystems.. But the point I was trying to make was that it has taken time and will take time - when you create ecosystems. And ecosystems are huge levers...


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Bo Harald

Bo Harald

Chairman/Founding member, board member

Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program,MyData

Member since

04 Nov 2008


Helsinki Region

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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