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Financial Services and Retail: ‘A (Digital) Tale of Two Industries’

Over the past six months or so, many of my blogs have dealt with the hot topic of “digital disruption” — both as a threat and an opportunity for companies, regardless of industry.

Several industries already find themselves inside this swirling “Digital Vortex,” which possesses the potential to reshape industries faster than perhaps any force in history. The power of the Digital Vortex is undeniable: it will displace nearly 4 of the top 10 incumbents by industry over the next five years, according to a 2015 study by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center).

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As part of its study, the DBT Center ranked 12 industries based on their potential for digital disruption. The No. 3- and No. 4-ranked industries — retail and financial services, respectively — provide a fascinating contrast in how industries are faring as they confront the Digital Vortex. Read More »

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Service Providers are on a Digital Journey

The Internet is the lifeblood of the digital economy. And in the digital economy, there is no growth, no life without the connectivity delivered by service providers across the globe.

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Every country, city, industry, and organization is undergoing a digital transformation. Service providers are leading this transformation in their own networks: no longer are they simply connecting places, but now they are connecting things. And not only are they connecting things on the traditional outdoor network, they are expanding to connect things indoors, like in venues, shopping malls, and airports, where traditional approaches to connectivity may not make economic sense.

Whether leveraging technology to enable, differentiate, or even define their digital transformations and business strategies, service providers worldwide are partnering with Cisco for solutions along every stage in the journey. Here are a few examples:

Read More »

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When Is a Car Not a Car?

In my last post I talked about companies that are digitizing themselves, and the critically important role of software. When we think about IT and software, we often think of large enterprises and software that resides on servers. But in this new age of the software-centric company, software can live anywhere.

Software is enabling companies to innovate rapidly, and deliver new features and capabilities to customers quickly and cost effectively. Silicon Valley automaker Tesla is widely recognized for transforming the automotive world with its game changing electric cars. But according to the company’s CEO, Tesla isn’t just a car company. It’s a software company.

“Tesla is a software company as much as it is a hardware company. A huge part of what Tesla is, is a Silicon Valley software company.” Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Bloomberg Business, Oct. 2014

And the Tesla Model S is much more than a car. Read More »

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Five Strategic Insurance Business Imperatives for 2016

One of these days the ground will drop out from beneath your feet
One of these days your heart will stop and play its final beat
One of these days the clocks will stop and time won’t mean a thing

“These Days”, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

 As we kick-off 2016, the time is now for industry decision-makers to make a profound difference in the way Insurance business is transacted. Not just for competitive position, but for future generations, shareholders and most importantly, for the customer. Peer group competitors are formulating action plans now to address the most pressing tactical and strategic business imperatives across the enterprise for 2016 and beyond. Are you? Here are five top focus areas for 2016 that I am hearing from insurance executives across both Life and P&C:

  1. Digital Strategy
  2. Security
  3. Collaboration
  4. Talent Acquisition and Retention
  5. Business Outcome Approach

Read More »

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Mortgage Lenders Imperative – Engage Millennials

I am a millennial and my entire financial life fits in my front pocket.

Whether I am setting up automatic credit card payments, paying a friend back for a dinner he paid for, making my monthly rent payment, or buying the latest Wall Street darling stock; it can all be accomplished with four or five taps on my smartphone.

Since the advent of the iPhone in 2007, the app economy has flourished, and now there seems to be an app for everything. This is particularly true for the financial services industry. There are apps for banking, investing, measuring net worth, tracking expenses, processing payments, and for things that probably neither you nor I have even thought of yet.

This trend has spilled over from the world of simple financial transactions to the complex financial world. Exemplifying this perfectly is the astounding success of Quicken Loans, which has grown to become the third largest United States mortgage lender (by volume) after adjusting its strategy in the late 90’s to become a direct digital lender. And as you may have guessed, they have an app for that. Read More »

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