Canadian findings show FIs view innovation as important but are missing
opportunities for growth
TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian financial services industry
is lagging behind its global counterparts when it comes to innovation,
with nearly a third (28%) of board-level respondents indicating it's
'very challenging' to build an innovative culture.
According to the Global Innovation Survey released by PwC today, even though innovation is viewed as an important
driver of success by 83% of banks, insurers, wealth managers and other
financial services leaders, they see a number of unique challenges in
getting innovation right.
Respondents indicated that retaining talent (22%), measuring innovation
success (17%) and developing and implementing support structures that
drive and sustain innovation initiatives (28%) are the most prominent
problems overall. In all of these categories, Canada is significantly
behind the global trend.
"The challenges faced by Canadian FIs in driving innovation are grounded
in culture, organization structure and process-related issues," says John MacKinlay, Financial Services Consulting and Deals Leader at PwC. "These issues can be addressed in part by doing three things:
firstly, clearly defining what opportunities and benefits are achieved
by driving innovation into the organization, secondly, taking a
long-term view to implementing the vision as innovation does not
materialize overnight, and finally, building an innovation support
framework that turns ideas into reality."
Currently, Canadian executives are focused on near-term innovations in
technology (33%) and systems/process improvements (22%). This may be
because innovation continues to be driven out of the IT function
exclusively. But this approach may mean that financial institutions are
missing critical opportunities and input in areas of customer
experience, business model and product innovation.
"While technology advancements are certainly important, there's
considerable competition in Canada to create the ultimate customer
experience," says Karen Forward, Director, Financial Services at PwC.
"That's why it's critical for companies to make innovation a part of
their fabric and to consider ways to help teams across the organization
shape ideas and implement them."
Forward continues, "Tools such as social technologies have given rise to
crowdsourcing to develop new products and organizations need to
remember that front line employees are key idea generators as they see
opportunities every day to drive a more personal level of customer
The study also shows that leading innovators are taking a much more
structured approach with 79% of the top performers indicating they have
a well-defined innovation strategy in place. This isn't the case for
Canadian financial services companies, as most indicated they don't
have formal structures in place to drive and sustain innovation.
MacKinlay concludes, "Innovation is essential to staying relevant and
competitive in today's global market. More than ever, Canadian
executives need to find new ways to cultivate ideas that drive an
extraordinary customer experience and an agile business model to stay
About the Global Innovation Survey
The largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, PwC's Global
Innovation Survey gathered insights from 1,757 C-suite and board-level
executives from more than 25 countries across more than 30 sectors. For
the first time, Canadian executives shared their experiences in this
study to explore three key areas: how they're using innovation to drive
growth; how approaches to innovation are changing; and how they're
delivering tangible results. A large segment of Canadian respondents
included members of the financial services industry, with
representatives from five of the "Big Six" banks, asset managers,
insurance providers and researchers.
Findings from the Global Innovation Survey are included in the global
report - Breakthrough Innovation and Growth and a Canadian report with sector specific results, both available online or from the media
About PwC Canada
PwC Canada helps organizations and individuals create the value they're
looking for. More than 5,700 partners and staff in offices across the
country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax,
consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC
network of firms with more than 180,000 people in 158 countries. Find
out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca.
Follow PwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pwccanada.
© 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability
partnership. All rights reserved.
PwC refers to the Canadian member firm, and may sometimes refer to the
PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.
SOURCE: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
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