Thursday, November 1, 2018

NCB Digital Transformation Symposium 2018 - Nadeen Matthews-Blair - Creating a Digital Transformation Programme

Creating a Digital Transformation Programme

Nadeen Matthews-Blair

NCB embarked on its digital transformation journey in 2015 with three objectives
  1. Enhance Customer Experiences
  2. Enhance efficiency
  3. Transform business model for long-term viability


  • Disrupt or be disrupted
  • Digital technology is the new equalizer

Disrupt or be disrupted

Examples, blockbuster, kodak, airbnb vs hotels etc….

Digital technology is the new equalizer

Examples, Estonia, Alibaba, Transferwise. It is no longer "owned" by Silicon valley.

At NCB we believe we can leverage, mobile technology, open source technology to meet our objectives.

What is digital transformation?

It is not about a new App, Website, becoming Paperless, ERP or CRM.

We define it as..

the transition from a product centric business model to a customer journey centric platform model, characterised by simplicity, ease, speed, convenience, elight and powered by digital technology, artificial intelligence and partnerships.

A good example is John Deere who moved from a manufacturer to a platform.

How do we become more concerned about the customer journey?

2015-2016 - defined our ambition, launched new digital products, evaluated and refined approach We borrowed from Jeff Bezos, be more customer focused. We launched a few digital products and learned some lessons to help us refine the approach (not the ambition). With that introspection we decided we needed a new approach. It was taking us too long to get to market and we needed to do something different.

2017 - Launched 1st Agile Lab, Accelerated digital transformation, evaluated approach. By the end of 2017 we had 4 agile labs.

2018 - We scaled up and we are now at 15 agile labs.

The agile way of working was formally codified by software developers in 2001 has helped us to get to market faster. For example:

Greater speed to market

  • Credit card alerts 10 weeks
  • Account opening - Deposits were developed in 22 weeks

Enhanced Team collaboration
IT is no longer in a silo, cross functional teams are collaborating on common goals. These are not senior people.

Greater customer centricity and adoption

We constantly test solutions with the customer instead of a big role out and feedback later. Every week or two weeks we do internal demos and every 4 to 6 weeks we test with customers. We launch in increments and test. For example our account opening solutions addresses 40% of our customers. Instead of waiting we're rolling out in increments.

I can't stress enough the empowerment. Our executives are not making the decisions that happen in the lab, instead the teams are making decisions based on defined goals. If you want

Hallmarks of Agile

  1. Collaboration and empowerment
  2. Customer centricity
  3. Test and learn/ Continuous improvement
  4. Lessons Learnt
  • It is not about the technology
  • Tremendous value to be unlocked by bringing together and empowering cross functional teams
  • Focus on end-to-end journeys
  • Partnerships are key
  • Digital and Agile are mindsets
  • Ensure team understands case for change and share successes
  • Continuous learning and improvement is the name of the game - learn it all not know it all

Example.. We've partnered with eGov so we can plug in to their data to pull customer information to save them the time of filling out a form.

Your team must understand the case for change

  1. Talent
  2. ICT
  3. Culture Transformation
  4. Cybersecurity
  5. We went from a total of 20 application developers to needing to recruit 30 in the first year.

We partnered with local IT companies who were better at getting talent. When we looked at the pipeline of talent that we needed there wasn't enough talent. We partnered with the University to help to prepare talent. Not just developers, data scientists and UX professionals.

We had infrastructural issues. If you have ICT based platforms and FLOW goes down that's a problem. It is not a resources issue, it's about leadership and commitment. This requires a huge cultural transformation from "this is how it is done" to how we focus on what the consumer needs and wants and how to get there.

We are proactively putting this in place to protect customers.

Getting started

If it doesn't sound like science fiction it isn't crazy enough!
  • Get buy-in from the CEO 
  • Establish digital transformation ambition 
  • Create your change story that articulates the case for transformation 
  • Start small - prioritise and select a customer journey for re-imagination and select cross-functional team with right mind-sets to address the problem 
  • Scale up quick wins and share success 
  • Continue to test, learn and improve 
Remember the disruption may come from outside your industry. Choose a journey that will impact your customers and business but not something that has too much technical or ecosystem dependencies. This allows you to develop the muscle and then you will have an early success story to use as a case for change within your organisation. Once you have that quick win then you can scale up and address other areas of your roadmap. This is a process of continuous improvement and continuous learning.

Next Steps

  • Scaling the agile way of working 
  • Leveraging advanced analytics and artificial intelligence 
  • Moving from product to platform
We would love to become the Google of the region or the world.

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