Prepare for the Next Revolution

Waves of innovation to affect CUs, consumers in 2014.

January 6, 2014

Society has experienced waves of innovation, according to Marco Annunziata, chief economist at General Electric in his TED talk, “Welcome to the Age of the Industrial Internet.”

Two such waves are the industrial revolution and the internet revolution; and the third revolution currently in progress is that of the industrial Internet.

The industrial Internet is a “marriage of minds and machines,” says Annunziata, a process in which various sensors are attached to industrial machines. These sensors collect data which is then available for analysis that can result in improved efficiencies in many industries, to include energy, aviation, and healthcare.

This is a unique metamorphic change as information becomes intelligence.

Further, this most current innovation is important because “industrial sectors play a huge role in our economies and our lives.”

As you listen to Annunziata’s talk, consider how this revolution may impact the lives of your members and your own product and service offerings.

Can you collect and analyze data in a way that makes information become intelligence? How will this “metamorphic change” in our society affect our economy and members’ finances?

‘I never think about the future—it comes soon enough.’—Albert Einstein

Research findings this week focus on the future as we look toward 2014. Can you identify any revolutions?

“As challenging as the current operating environment is, we believe the banking sector in 2020 is a land of opportunity,” says a new Accenture study [pdf].

Technology is at the forefront of innovation as the financial industry charts new courses. “Most notably, digital shifts—both inside and outside of the industry—are rapidly redefining the information flows and the way that service providers and customers interact, while dramatically cutting distribution costs to unprecedented levels.”

Is this a metamorphic change in our industry? “Consumers view online banking as the single most important area in which banks should invest and develop.”

Those who ignore digital banking will do so at their own peril. And, according to the paper, “three new business models will emerge to take market share away from traditional, full-service banking institutions that fail to adapt”:

Another Accenture study dovetails the previous research report. “Banks will need to rise to the digital challenge—but it won’t be easy.” See “A Critical Balancing Act: U.S. Retail Banking in the Digital Era,” [pdf] and learn the five key findings that outline the needs for more a more direct approach in the digital era:

Are you meeting your members’ expectations with digital offerings?

“An uptick in cloud usage and continued innovation in the payments space are among trends we can expect to see next year,” says in “Four Bank Tech Predictions for 2014.”

Other trends to expect are that bank technology will address not only the customer service piece of operations but also risk management issues. Plus, “this will be the year corporate mobile and online banking fully comes into its own.” Consumers will expect ability to bank from anywhere.

‘I see only adaptations—not revolutions.’ –Gordon Getty, American businessman

Take a look at “The Crystal Ball for Mobile in 2014” to learn about consumer use of electronic devices in this MediaPost blog.

“With Apple continuing to exclude NFC [near field communication] from the iPhone, despite the rest of the payments industry lined up to make it happen, there will still be no effective catalyst to make mobile payments in stores habitual.”

Further, “2014 is likely to be tough for mobile display networks” as media attempts to meet consumer expectations. “Plain old display will feel the squeeze.”

A final tidbit from this interesting article: “Those retailers who have spent the past few years busily clearing out legacy systems will be making hay with new technologies… Mobile will begin to be key in closing the measurement loop between online and retail.”

All of this consumer interest in digital connectedness “places new demands on marketers,” says eMarketer. “Consumers expect instant interactions, whether it is a relevant offer or an answer to a customer service query.”

Applying data will allow providers to “respond faster—and better—to business challenges,” and “87% of U.S. financial services and healthcare executives cited the acceleration of their ability to gain insights and answer questions as a byproduct of working effectively with Big Data.”

Other benefits of big data application: 70% say it will allow them to examine “new sources of information in real time” and 70% say it will “reduce the costs of our analytical and data discovery environment and processes.”

More digital marketing tips are found at in “10 Trends That Reshaped Digital Marketing in 2013.”

Learn from the past and discover how you can best engage members. Among the considerations suggested in this interesting post:

Finally, note that “Household Use of Mobile Bill Pay Doubled in 2013,” according to Fiserv. “Sixteen million U.S. households paid a bill using an app, text, or mobile browser in 2013, up from 8 million in 2012,” primarily driven by Smartphone users “as bill payments in that group rose 150%, to 30% of Smartphone users.”

Still, even though mobile is important, people like choices when paying the bills. In fact, 83% of respondents use two or more channels to pay bills, and they used an average of 3.2 bill-payment channels monthly.

Technology is very impactful in not only meeting consumer needs but in identification of them as revolutions like that of the industrial internet affect our daily existence, and forever change the way we do business.

Make sure you are on the cutting edge of consumer needs and technological capabilities to remain relevant and viable.

The only constant is change. Be prepared to offer and meet it for successful outcomes.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Revolutions go not backward.”






Lora Bray is a research librarian at CUNA.