One third of banking executives participating in a study said that marketing owns the end-to-end customer relationship, but only 14% feel that marketing should own their institution’s digital strategy.

As financial institutions look at how best to adapt their current practices to meet the needs of customers across an expanding array of digital channels, banking executives look for insights to inform their digital transformation strategies. A research study among digital strategy and marketing leaders in the banking industry sheds light on some of the key challenges and opportunities for making effective strides toward delivering more personal and omnichannel customer experiences.

Digital transformation must begin with a cultural transformation within an organization, according to the study, in order to best lay the foundation for critical cross-department cooperation. This cooperation, freeing needed data and capabilities from departmental silos, is required to achieve seamless omnichannel service at each point along the customer lifecycle.

With 87% of the financial institution respondents saying that technology is intrinsic to digital transformation and must be considered in tandem with strategy, it’s a natural fit for CIOs to lead the way in vetting and implementing the technical platforms and solutions that will form the backbone of an organization’s digital strategy. However, this is not to say that the IT and more technical teams should lead digital transformation initiatives alone. When asked which business unit should own digital strategy, only 2% of respondents named IT — instead, 32% wanted to see executive level ownership (the C-suite), with a plurality of 41% preferring a cross-departmental digital team.

The wide championing of departmental cooperation by respondents seems to stem from the fact that siloing is perceived as the root of obstacles slowing down digital maturation. When asked about these roadblocks, 56% citied a limited availability of IT resources, 44% mentioned fragmented data resources, and 41% pointed to not having a single view of the customer. Asked what is the biggest barrier to addressing the full customer lifecycle, 46% of respondents acknowledged the fact that different business units own different parts of the lifecycle – far and away the most common response.

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