Summer C-Level Series: Ismail Amla, Capco
What have been the main themes of your business so far this year?
Major themes we have seen in the industry this year start with the excruciating amount of change banks are expected to undergo in the immediate term. Continued regulation and the cry for trade transparency is pushing banks to change technology, processes and procedures or be fined for faulty reporting standards by regulators. At the same time, retail banking is changing how banks will have to relate to and service their customers. Millennium bank customers want omni-channel digital banking solutions that keep pace with start-up new entrants and that means banks must innovate, and build new non-core competencies that will challenge the status quo. Banks have a lot of work to do – and it all has to be done now.
What has surprised you in 2014?
What has surprised us the most in 2014 is the rise of the need for change professionals. In the past, banks’ desk heads were often charged with making necessary changes to siloed business units but with the amount of change on banks’ plates that approach just won’t work anymore. With change programs costing 100’s of millions of dollars and involving 1000’s of professionals, change management has finally taken a seat at the top executives’ table. There has been a massive conversion of FS practitioners moving over into the consulting space and learning what it takes to make real change happen. Banks can’t risk faulty change programs if they want to comply with regs and keep marketshare in an evolving marketplace so they are relying on creative relationships with quality change professionals who can keep pace.
What are your expectations for the duration of 2014?
Our expectations for 2014 include continued growth in financial services for professional and innovative change management, continued and increasing regulation toward total trade transparency, a move toward outsourcing non-core capabilities to capture cost-savings for banks (the growth of shared ‘financial utilities’ across the industry) and the exponential growth of the need for digital/mobile retail banking solutions. All-in-all, banks have are faced with a dramatic transformational agenda, more aggressive than ever before.