I was very proud to see the publication recently of a book that I co-authored – “Deliberately Digital: Rewriting Enterprise DNA for Enduring Success”
My time at Worldline has provided me with much inspiration for this book. At Worldline, we are often right at the heart of digital transformations, from revolutionising the user experience for millions of public transport passengers, to using scalable platforms to optimise banking operations, through to enabling a cashless society by rolling out and managing hundreds of thousands of devices in many diverse geographies.
But, naturally, writing this book was also a learning process in itself. As we explored the societal, business, and technology trends that are creating the need for businesses to transform, and as we crafted the case studies illustrating how different industries are responding to this challenge, it was interesting to see where lessons learned in one sector could be applied to others.
One such example comes from our own industry: PSD2 exemplifies regulation driving innovation and change (rather than, as is usually assumed, constraining it). By forcing financial institutions to share users’ data (if permission is granted), it makes it possible for smaller Fintechs to build innovative new services, such as providing consolidated personal financial management and advice. But it also creates an interesting dilemma for incumbents who may fear being disintermediated: reducing their potential to add value and removing their direct relationship with their customers. Failure to respond to this shift will see them relegated to mere commodity providers, a trend that we see happening in other industries as well (such as automotive manufacturers being usurped by mobility-as-a-service providers, or the value of manufacturing shifting to the intellectual property contained in product designs rather than the physical machinery needed to manufacture them).
We can certainly expect that other regulation, similar to PSD2, may appear which will impact other areas of financial services, as well as other industries altogether. How businesses can respond to this type of challenge is something we explore extensively in the book, and one of the key conclusions is that many companies, rather than simply using digital technology to optimise what they do today, will have to re-imagine their entire business models: embarking on a deep, deliberately digital transformation.