Highlights from The Digital Banking Transformation Breakfast

As we approach the end of 2023, banks and credit unions are on the brink of an exciting chapter in their digital banking transformation journey. This evolution is driven by swift advancements in technology, dynamic customer needs, a shifting economic landscape, and the rise of innovative business models.

In light of these industry headwinds, we wanted to learn how successful institutions sustain their transformation efforts. Here are the highlights from our Digital Banking Roundtable Breakfast, featuring:

  • Anthony Morris, Chief Industry Transformation Officer, nCino
  • Kelly Miller, Director of AgTech, Compeer Financial
  • Michael Sabado, Technology & Strategy Leader, Golden1 Credit Union
  • Greg Blausey, Senior Director, Banking Industry Solutions & Strategy, Salesforce
  • Manvir Sandhu, Chief Innovation Officer, Zennify

70% of digital transformations actually fail. How do we overcome this?

Understand, and act on emerging customer needs.

Compeer Financial was (and still is) doing very well with record profits and happy customers – with no indication that things needed to move and change. However, Kelly Miller, Director of AgTech from Compeer Financial, observed that they could do a much better job of meeting their customers’ online needs. Ultimately, she understood that Compeer Financial – like all financial institutions – needed to be where their customers are, and she shared how Compeer Financial was able to quickly address this opportunity without having to go through a loss:

  • Put together a really great business and financial business plan together with your stakeholders. This business plan needs to illustrate the opportunity cost of not going forward – even if there isn’t a plan yet.
  • Spend time connecting with your target market. In Kelly’s example, she connected with her AgTech market and asked hard-hitting questions:
    • “How can we do better? What’s missing?”
    • “How can one of the largest agricultural companies come alongside you to make sure that our farmers are served really, really well because they deserve it?”

Stakeholder involvement & change management are two important keys. Here’s how to use these keys:

Michael Sabado said, “Everything starts in the beginning with a unified vision and stakeholder alignment”. The project teams always go beyond your immediate circle. Our speakers mentioned including the following people and teams:

  • Executive leadership
  • Board members
  • Internal technology team members

Managing and dealing with executive leadership and board members can be daunting, but the best way ultimately to get alignment and understanding is through transparent communication. Anthony Morris reinforced that successful program teams are based on the most fundamental principles:

  • Leadership
  • Vision
  • Communication – whereby everyone is part of the journey every week, instead of being disconnected from what’s going on.

An example of putting this in action:

  • Create a digital project plan where project team members can log in every week and provide their comments. This can be mandated as a weekly activity to manage accountability and ensure everyone’s voices are heard.

Greg Sabado shared that it is important it is to align the business, IT, and operations teams. This means including every persona that touches a process. Always remember the teams who are behind the scenes and know how everything works together.

Use digital maturity assessments.

Financial institutions are usually culturally and fiscally conservative. A digital maturity assessment can help an organization understand where they are at, where they can be at, and most importantly be a tool to help align the entire organization. Digital maturity assessments can:

  • Help you understand if any new technology implementation aligns with your strategies
  • Determine if you have the technology capability to take it on
  • Help you understand if you are operationally ready

Zennify can help you with your digital maturity assessment! Connect with us here.

Leverage experts early on for scalable, sustainable growth.

Many financial institutions have homegrown platforms, which may have served them well in the past. However, institutions that grew exponentially versus their competitors knew that they needed the right expertise to scale. This is where leveraging experts across the industry ecosystem – Salesforce, nCino, and Zennify, as an example – can help banks and credit unions realize revenue growth faster and stay compliant throughout the entire process.

It’s important to note that you want experts with practical experience. Learn from those who have lived through implementations and can discuss strategy while knowing how to figure out the details of your data fields.

Recognize that perfection is not the end goal. Being adaptive and agile are more important.

Our speakers highlighted that it’s normal for things to not be perfect. Case in point: data will never be perfectly sorted and cleaned. It’s important to instill a culture of agility, where people know that they can revert on changes and implement something new (whether it be involving different stakeholders and/or a new system) to improve on the outcome.

Your institution may not have all the answers, but if you and your team keep going and applying learnings, you will achieve success.

We left Dreamforce absolutely recharged and looking forward to what’s next. With the rise of AI and growth required to enable the right data strategies, we can’t wait to get back to innovating in our ZennLab and delivering the best of the Salesforce ecosystem to you.

Success comes from your people. Prioritize their experience.

Technology advancements can overwhelm and make companies rush implementations, just to feel like they’ve stayed ahead. Anthony Morris, Chief Industry Transformation Officer at nCino reminded all of us that we need to appreciate and let people know that “we are one team”, by recognizing the people who do the real work. Michael Sabato, Golden1 Credit Union’s technology & strategy leader reminded us to find moments of small wins, and focus on making sure that the implementation experience is pleasurable for all stakeholders involved throughout the entire lifecycle.

Another way of looking at this is to focus on the employee experience. In order to add value to the customer channel, our speakers recommend making sure that you have an employee-first experience culturally. Making day-to-day tasks easier for your employees will help them create a much smoother digital experience for your customers too.

Digital transformation is within your reach. Zennify can help you get the ROI you want. Reach out →

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