December 10, 2020

SFF 2020: Resilience and the Future of Digital Transformation

Resilience Series: During the Singapore Fintech Festival, CFTE will be covering sessions related to the themes of Resilience, Agility, Innovation and Culture Changes. Topics covered  in the new Intrapreneurship course, launched recently. 

In this episode of the Leader’s Series, Satya Nadella and Bill Winters cover interesting insights into how the rapid development of technology and its involvement in finance has radically changed the entire landscape and industry.

If you would like to know more on how CFTE is working with organisations around the world to engage their employees in digital transformation, reach out to us here.


Continuing on our Resilience Series, where we cover creative ways companies and corporations have innovated in order to survive and thrive amidst the unfavourable climate, we listened to Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, and Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC, sharing about where we are headed in the future of technology and financial services.

The Digital Age and Finance

In different situations and from various standpoints, technology can be viewed as either a partner or a competitor. It has the ability to generate unprecedented growth rates for new companies entering the industry, but it also has the ability to shut down businesses almost overnight due to its fierce competitive nature. Undoubtedly, the extensive reach of digital transformation has touched the finance industry in recent years, very rapidly in fact, as it progresses to revolutionise the conventional way financial services used to be run not too long ago.

With more and more companies progressing to become digitalised, companies providing financial services are also changing to suit the increasing demands of their clients in this new norm. In a huge technological corporation like Microsoft, Satya shares that even his company needs to constantly respond to changes, in areas such as consumer behaviour and consumer’s expectations. Revolutionary advancements in user interfaces, such as the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to personalise customers’ experiences, have been essential in ensuring that the changing needs of customers are met, especially those from the younger generation who grew up in the digital era. 

Going into the future, new inventions of novel businesses and products will set the foundation for the next generation of technology. Emerging from this pandemic, banking and financial services will continue to advance and progress along with the needs of clients, with the use of Fintech and other forms of technology such as AI to set the stage for what we can expect from this blooming industry.

Creative Uses of Technology

With the increased influence of technology on financial services, Bill and Satya discuss how the power of technology has drastically improved the capabilities of companies and organisations to better suit the needs of their users. With more people making use of such financial services, cloud databases stored by service providers have been building up and computational resources are currently widespread. This precious resource of customer data has proved to be very useful in conjunction with the use of AI, where technology can be used to better understand the past, using data to plot trends and hence predicting the future. This allows businesses to be much more efficient and smart when making strategic decisions, through the simple use of analytical and predictive technology.

Cultural Revolution

The (ongoing) cultural transformation of companies like Microsoft have also been necessary in addressing the convergence of new technology and the needs of users. Satya focuses on 2 main values that have allowed him to approach this ongoing need for transformation. 

First, having a strong sense of purpose, which ultimately is the fundamental principle behind why they do what they do, helps him to stay grounded. He shares how he always falls back to the original purpose to create technology for others, such as other developers, so that they can create technology of their own.

The other value is having the culture to stay humble and constantly hungry for new information each day, to not stay complacent with what we already know. Having the right growth mindset pushes us to transform from a “know-it-all” to a “learn-it-all”; this is what Satya believes is the right approach to a learning organisation.

Trust in Technology

As mentioned previously, the extensive use of technology has inevitably led to large amounts of consumer data being entrusted in the hands of financial institutions and large tech companies. Customers not only trust businesses with their data, but also their money, and a large amount of it. 

Microsoft has 4 main principles incorporated into their working process to ensure that there is a strong mutual trust earned between them and their users. Their focus is on privacy, cyber security, AI ethics and Internet safety. Satya accurately expresses how privacy has become a human right above all the regulations put in place. It is the social responsibility of businesses to ensure these principles are not neglected amidst the processes, and trust is not lost in technology.


If you would like to know more on how CFTE is working with organisations around the world to engage their employees in digital transformation, reach out to us here.