7 ways to achieve successful digital transformation

Chief Transformation Officer at People’s United Bank, Ravi Vakacherla, shares the importance of strategically taking advantage of new digital capabilities and offers seven lessons to overcome roadblocks in digital transformation. ​

A majority of financial institutions list “advance digital transformation” as a top priority. In a podcast interview with The Financial Brand, Ravi Vakacherla, EVP and chief transformation officer shares how People’s Bank formed a “business transformation office”. The department’s main focus is digitization and technology development and is responsible for optimizing and automating processes as well as setting up partnerships with fintech companies.

Here are Vakacherla’s recommendations:

Do not underestimate the importance of culture, leadership and discipline. That is more than any budget or product that you buy or build.

Don’t fall into the fallacy of a sexy transformation initiative announced with bells and whistles. Transformation is 1% incremental changes executed with discipline.

Digital transformation is not about the goals. It is about the systems that help you get to the goal. Change your systems, not your goals.

Employee experience is as important as customer experience. Help your employees be more productive and they will pay it back in spades.

Stop thinking like a banker and listen to your customers. Don’t presuppose that you understand them.

Understand that you have to be agile and willing to pivot. Don’t be afraid of mistakes.

Democratize technology and data. They should not be the privy domain of a small group that says, ‘We will come and automate everything for you.’ Put technology in the hands of the people who are facing the customers and supporting the various lines of business.

Fintechs are not encumbered by legacy technology and are focused on solving problems in a niche area. Why not take advantage of that? Combine their innovation with your distribution

Ravi Vakacherla on leveraging fintechs