Serving San Francisco and the East Bay

Connecting in the Digital Age

FWSF East Bay Event, September 12, 2016

By Kimberly Everett

Just think – 25 years ago there was no World Wide Web. Our phones weren’t smart and our cars didn’t talk back. The changes since 1991 are nothing compared to what’s to come in the next five years.

Secil Tabli Watson, EVP Wholesale Internet solutions at Wells Fargo, shared her thoughts on the rapid pace of change with the East Bay members and guests at a Monday evening event served up with lots of enthusiasm to complement the wine and appetizers.

Photo from Digital Age Event

The drive for this accelerated change — Technology. Smartphones that allow developers to put the software on the device. API’s that support faster development with use of other’s source code. Voice Commands eliminating the need to push buttons and machines learning from other machines. Yes, they will soon be smarter than humans.

It’s not just the technology. It’s about how people organize and collaborate through design thinking, open sourcing and agile collaboration resulting in shorter innovation cycles and lower costs.

As the pace of change accelerates, the battle is for the customer experience. Competition is different. Businesses formerly competed within their industry, now businesses compete to capture the attention, passion and loyalty of the customer. Doing this faster and cheaper means capturing the Micro Moment like Uber integrating with Google Maps. It’s like Etsy linking a small company in Asia with a homemaker in the US. It’s about convenience through logistics and digitization like Amazon offering 1 hour or less delivery.

Simplicity is the new black. Simplicity is the human desire adding increased complexity on the back end. Strategic planning for different future realities can’t follow a linear approach. Traditional 3, 5 and 10 year business plans are scary given how much will happen. Today you must listen to customers and constantly improve. You must take advantage of emerging technologies and adapt the organization. Future planning should innovate yourself out of a job with solutions like machine to machine. Make your own reality.

What does all this mean for financial Services? In means faster payments, embedded experience information and validation, payments that reconcile making the accountants very happy. Digital commerce enhances security and fraud management requirements driving even more new technology like biometric security using eye scans.

Secil’s knowledge of the developments in technology and her practical approach to the changes made us all agree that we can do it better, faster and cheaper –delivered in the new reality — if we are ready to keep pace with those changes.

Digital Age photo

Website by Kindem Design