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FSC-DST CEO Survey 2014: Technology is Key to Developing Innovation in Financial Services

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6 November 2014

In our third year of sponsorship of the FSC-DST CEO* Survey in Australia, we are particularly delighted that the topic for focus in 2014 is innovation. As a leading technology provider to the investment and wealth management sector, innovation is critical to our own business success. Similarly, our products and services provide the means by which our customers derive their own successful business outcomes.

This year’s survey found that almost three quarters of CEOs believe that technology plays a major role in driving innovation in financial services, helping to strengthen its position as one of Australia’s leading industries.

The top drivers of innovation recognised by CEOs in the survey include new product development, improving the customer and adviser experience, and developing new, more efficient back-office processes. Technology is the key enabler of innovation and allows organisations to realise their own innovation ambitions. It provides the ability to develop fast, effective ways of servicing customers and bring to market new products.

Top Three

Drivers of Innovation

Innovation projects

Sector concerns

  • Need to develop new products to meet changing needs of clients
  • Need to improve customer service for existing clients
  • Need to maintain/lift market share
  • Developing new ways of servicing customers
  • Developing new products
  • Developing new internal back-office processes
  • Consumer confidence in financial services
  • Cost and volume of regulation
  • Investment returns

Operationally, technology helps them to automate and streamline processes whilst providing the agility to adapt to changing customer needs. The recent SuperStream data and payment standards are a great example of how technology plays a major part in transmitting contributions, rollovers and payments electronically across the industry, reducing the need for manual intervention. The digital revolution has also permanently changed customer perceptions meaning an increased demand for fast, accurate and on demand investment information through apps, web portals, smartphones and tablets, anytime and anywhere. 

Technology has aided Australia’s superannuation sector to automate the processing and distribution of the complex mass of data required for regulatory reporting. As a result of these initiatives, CEOs are starting to recognise the strategic importance that sophisticated data and analytics systems can provide, enabling them to better manage and interpret data for improved investment performance.

DST believes that 2014 is the year that as an industry we need to look beyond the immediate regulatory “must do” initiatives and toward strategic planning focused on genuine business growth and new ways of engaging and servicing customers. Implementing the right technology is key to driving innovation and improving the long-term sustainability of the financial services industry.

 Download the reportView the key findings  View the key  technological findings

* About the FSC-DST CEO Report

The Financial Services Council (FSC) conducts an annual survey of its 73 member CEOs on the key issues affecting their businesses, the financial services sector more broadly and the Australian economy. These views are collected via a member survey, a series of roundtables and one-on-one interviews.

The 14th FSC-DST CEO Survey was conducted in conjunction with DST and focused on Innovation. The survey provides insights into the key drivers of innovation for financial services and how the industry is responding and the role the sector plays in supporting innovation in other businesses in the economy. The survey includes direct input from CEOs on their experiences, their views on opportunities and their knowledge of factors that will meet the needs of consumers into the future.

About the Financial Services Council  The Financial Services Council represents Australia's retail and wholesale funds management businesses, superannuation funds, life insurers, financial advisory networks, trustee companies and Public Trustees. The Council has over 130 members who are responsible for investing more than AUD$2.2 trillion on behalf of 11 million Australians. The pool of funds under management is larger than Australia’s GDP and the capitalisation of the Australian Securities Exchange and is the fourth largest pool of managed funds in the world. The Financial Services Council promotes best practice for the financial services industry by setting mandatory Standards for its members and providing Guidance Notes to assist in operational efficiency.