Innovation hubs – where do you begin?
Bill North, global head of sales for artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider Pelican, looks at strategies banks can adopt to choose the right innovation partners.
So your bank has decided to create an innovation hub. Maybe it has taken years to convince management that unless you innovate, the bank will be left behind as your competition is able to leap forward – not just in supporting new initiatives and regulation, but also in triggering new products and reducing risk.
Now that you’ve decided to go forth on your innovation journey, how do you go about analysing your challenges and the best way forward? I’d like to propose three guidelines that will help you decide not only how to go forward, but also what type of ntech you should be talking to.
Many people associate ntech with a small start-up that recently developed some technology that they promise will change the world. While start-ups have many positives such as agility, focus, and energy, they are frequently missing a key aspect: proven technology. Innovation does not mean that you have to risk a project to get a solution that is forward thinking. Furthermore, often it’s not just the technology that makes or breaks the project – it’s the domain expertise and best practices that your Innovation Hub partner can bring to the table.
A valuable example is a bank’s decision to innovate with a ntech that developed a cutting edge piece of technology at University. The technology was theoretically sound but had not been used in the industry supporting the volumes of payments the production system processed every day. The project went over budget and delivery time while the fintech was ironing out the kinks in the process.
Another guideline is that the solution cannot live on its own. So many of your bank’s processes have been formulated over the years and inevitably are supported by numerous pieces of technology and often by burdensome manual processes. As you analyse the challenge, you must consider the ecosystem in which the solution must not only live but also integrate with seamlessly.
Finally, as you partner with a ntech you must understand how agile the technology is and what it is capable of. Are key aspects like AI, machine learning, API integration, UX, analytics etc a core part of the platform? Or do they need to bolted on? What happens in the middle of the project when a team member comes up with a great idea but the technology platform doesn’t have what it needs – do you go nd a new partner and scrap the work already done? A risky proposition for sure.
To review, you must take three things into consideration when deciding on a partner for your innovation hub:
- domain expertise and experience;
- how the solution will live in your ecosystem;
- how agile the platform is.
Making sure these are properly analysed and matched to your requirements will greatly enhance the possibility of a successful and innovative partnership.
This article is also featured in the Daily News at Sibos 2017 – Day 2 edition.
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