How Banks Can Embrace Digital Transformation Without Abandoning Their Core Values

Reto Sager

No matter your industry, innovation is a proven path to differentiation and competitiveness. Companies that embody the flexibility of agile innovation, real-time pivoting to meet market demand, and the ability to scale operations when needed are handsomely rewarded. However, these principles of the digital economy can be difficult to accept for a banking industry that values stability, consistency, and conservative decision making.

As they face increasing consumer expectations, rising disruption of fintech competitors, and declining margins, many banks are subscribing to a short-term, siloed, risk-averse approach to operations and customer engagement. It’s true that this strategy is working for some banks at the moment – but in reality, they are resisting any opportunity to realize the full potential of digital technology. 

Banking’s path to digital transformation: Best practices and the digital core

Does digital transformation require banks to abandon the core values that have long defined the industry? Of course not!

In fact, there are two components that, once integrated into the overall strategy, can help banks realize the advantages of going digital while staying true to their principles:

1. Standards and best practices

The notion of standards and best practices may seem like the antithesis of digital transformation, but it’s actually a complementary approach for the banking industry. By delivering best-practice content and concepts that everyone in the organization can easily consume and apply to their daily work, banks are better equipped to standardize and optimize internal and customer-centric processes. Chunking the long-term digital-transformation strategy into smaller building blocks and milestones can help ensure that a sense of predictability and control is continuously maintained.

2. The digital core

Consolidating data scattered across many disconnected sources provides banking personnel with access to real-time insights needed to make sound operational and financial decisions. At the same time, the overall financial institution can take advantage of consequential benefits including:

  • Improved compliance and sustainable cost savings, driving up profit margins
  • Effortless user experiences with unprecedented transparency into the organization and customer base
  • Lower IT costs attributed to a “connect once, connect to all” approach to collaboration

Are you ready to embrace digital transformation – without compromising your core values and disrupting operations and the customer experience? Join us at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference in May and check out these sessions:


Reto Sager

About Reto Sager

Reto Sager is senior vice president and global head of Services for the Financial Services, Banking, and Insurance Industry Units at SAP.