Financial Services

Agile banking transformation: From machine-like bureaucracies to agile organisms

November 01, 2022

Global

Agile banking transformation: From machine-like bureaucracies to agile organisms

November 01, 2022

Global
Monica Ballesteros

Senior manager, Policy and Insights

Monica Ballesteros is a senior manager in the Policy & Insights team at Economist Impact. Monica works with clients in the private and non-profit sectors to answer some of the critical economic and public policy questions facing our world. At Economist Impact she has led several bespoke research engagements that aim to promote more inclusive financial and digital ecosystems, including the Global Microscope which assesses the enabling environment for financial inclusion in 55 countries around the world. Monica has over 10 years of experience as a communications and research professional. Prior to her time at The Economist Group, Monica worked in the International Affairs Unit of Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, where she conducted research on financial policy and regulation as part of the country's G20 task force. She also worked as an account manager in one of Mexico’s most prominent consulting firms, where she designed and implemented communications, crisis management and corporate responsibility strategies for multinational corporations in the retail, infrastructure, insurance and energy sectors. She holds a master’s degree in International Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Wellesley College.

Agile banking transformation: From machine-like bureaucracies to agile organisms

Disruptive technologies and digital-only competitors are forcing traditional banks to go from being some of the most bureaucratic, machine-like organisations to becoming model agile organisms. Financial services companies have faced an existential threat for the past two decades as investment pours into fintech companies and customer demands change rapidly. This pressure is forcing traditional banks to change more quickly than companies in other sectors, in order to adapt to the digital era.

However, digital transformation does not only encompass the adoption of new technologies. Organisational change is a key trait of digital transformation as agility enables companies to keep up with customer demands and respond to crises. In order to achieve this transformation, banks have taken their cues from technology companies to become more agile. This means making small decisions as part of rapid cycles, quickly testing these in practice, and adjusting them as needed. This article developed by Economist Impact with support from Mambu explores what characterises agile organisations and how agility can help financial institutions stay ahead of customer demands, weather future crises, and empower employees to promote innovation.

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