It is my forecast that in the future you will not be able to find a job in your bank or financial institution because more and more ‘things’ will be free.
Crazy, I know, but hear me out.
We are living today, in what I call a ‘free’ economy.
The free economy is a trend that has gone out of control.
It started as a marketing strategy, then it became essential for all businesses, and now it will ultimately cost you your job.
While many think todays high unemployment is a knock on from the recession, there is also a knock on worse than the recession in the form of the free economy.
What used to be a trend has become the only way to engage customers today.
Today, every bank or financial institution has to offer customers great free products, I call it ‘free bait’, to stand a chance at engaging a customer - think one year interest feee credit cards, interest free student overdrafts, 3 month free trials, free
smart phone apps, free internet banking etc. etc.
As more and more ‘things’ become free, institutions compete with each other to offer more and more for free, free mobile banking, free bank transfers, the list goes on.
As more becomes free, institutions find ways to cut costs so they can offer their ‘things’ for free to compete.
The only way they can do this is by replacing your job with technology and computers, innovated by freelance contractors and run by outsourced teams, as we see all around us today.
How did we get here?
With the rise of cloud computing, the price of bandwidth and storage dropping fast, the ‘free economy’ has become a movement for every industry including banking.
In fact my guess, is that right now you and your team are working on the very technology that will replace your job in banking and finance.
As soon as you get it working smoothly, you will be offered a job as a contractor over the next ten years or so.
Drastic, I know, but take a look at the trends.
In order to give all this stuff away for free, companies need to produce their free goods at minimal costs.
This means everything going digital.
Virtually every product or industry that touches digital networks, quickly feels the effect of falling costs, but only when they figure out how to do it without the huge cost of staff, think Egg who created the first internet bank, instead of employing thousands
So one by one, they are replacing staff with technology at a rapid rate as they automate their free offering.
As the digital marketplace has become global, it has become common practice for businesses to give away some of their very best stuff for free (and lots of it), while ingeniously developing a way to compete with others who want to give away higher and higher
value innovations for free and still have a business - think Google and Facebook.
I came across Wave free accounting software the other day, that offer it for free if you agree to receive adverts - and yes it does almost everything that Sage does. So even finance is following the Google model.
So in the future you will work freelance as a contractor, as part of an outsourced team or as an entrepreneur yourself serving a niche audience, centered around the years of experience you have built up.
My advise, start now, build your client base, develop your offer and start preparing your contacts for when you lose your job.
Remember, as you become a contractor, you have to give away your services for free to stand any chance of attracting a customer in the free economy.
Could we really live in a financial world where all services are outsourced and contracted?
Love to hear your thought...