President/Chairman of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Ken Opara, has called on banks and other companies to be more aggressive in technology adoption to gain a competitive edge in the corporate space.
Opara gave the charge while speaking at the maiden edition of the yearly Banking and Technology Forum held in Lagos and virtually last week.
He said every business organisation has no option but to work towards becoming “a tech company” if it wants to survive the emerging competition.
“You will agree with me that technology is helping to reframe the business landscape. It is no longer a case of being an esoteric phenomenon that stands apart from specific companies and industries. Rather, every company should now be working actively to become a tech company.
“Smart adoption of the right products and services does not just give you a competitive advantage, it can provide opportunities to increase productivity and efficiency, reduce business costs and grow the bottom line.
“The next generation of mobile technology, for example, is providing increased data at quicker speeds, while adding new features that empower employees to deliver enhanced service to customers and get more done on the go. With the onset of the internet of things (IoT) and big data gathering powered by cloud technology, early adopters will gain an advantage that could be developed into a sustainable edge over the competition,” the CIBN boss said.
He said new technologies are redefining speed to market, quality and purpose-built solutions and that those who would gain an advantage in the areas were first movers in the latest innovations and cutting-edge applications technology churned out daily. Whether in banking, payment system or social services, he said, efficiency would be largely determined by the successful incorporation of third-party technology.
“The financial services industry is going through a significant transformation, as the COVID-19 pandemic triggers a move away from the mindset that physical channels are of prime importance to customers. Digital channels have seen a surge in use across the world. Perhaps the most ubiquitous example is the rapid growth in digital payments and online transactions for banking, asset management and other financial activities,” he said.
Quoting PwC survey, Opara said 74 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies’ executives are engaged in a cloud strategy, while 56 per cent see the cloud as a critical component of growth and innovation. He stressed that evolving technologically is at the heart of efficient customer service.
The forum organised by the CIBN Centre for Financial Studies is a fulfillment of Opara at his investiture some months ago. He promised to push for a more technologically advanced banking sector as part of his cardinal programme to make the financial service sector more attractive to Generation Z.