Innovation at Japanese Financial Services Firms, Part 2: In Search of Disruptive Innovation

by Eiichiro Yanagawa, September 26, 2014
Industry Trends


Following on the heels of its global innovation survey last year, Celent conducted a survey on innovation in Japan’s financial industry. The survey results highlight two gaps: a management gap and an initiative gap. To bridge these gaps, Celent advocates heightening organizational adaptability to change.

Today the primary reason that innovation is an imperative in the financial industry  is the change in customer expectations when it comes to financial services. Celent sees responding to these changes in expectations as facilitating innovation. As such, Celent proposes an innovation model to help induce innovation and to do so in an ongoing manner.

Part 1 of this report presents and examines the results of Celent's Japan innovation survey. The report analyzes the responses of 110 professionals at solution vendors and financial institutions including banks, insurers, securities firms, and asset management firms.

Part 2 explores how to induce innovation that is not happenstance, has staying power, and is not a flash in the pan. Firms need innovation that has the power to take root and change organizations, their initiatives, and their corporate culture.

“The greatest factors hampering advances in disruptive innovation are not to be found outside but rather inside a company. In particular, within large corporations, there is a tendency to derail innovation,” says Eiichiro Yanagawa, a senior analyst with Celent’s Asian Financial Services practice and author of the report. “Large firms are often typified by a wealth of capital and business resources. These resources are often in the areas of human resources and technology and can be channeled to R&D. They also often have business operations that require 360-degree management and much competition, and are frequently home to isolated ‘black sheep’ employees that seek to innovate.”

This report also offers innovation models to help companies intentionally induce innovation and to do so in an ongoing manner.

This is the second in a two-report series on innovation in Japan’s financial service sector. The report contains 19 figures.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
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Europe (London)
Chris Williams
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Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary





Survey Questions



Overview of Survey Participants


Challenges and Solutions



Challenges: Two Gaps



Solutions and Prescriptions: Intentionally Inducing Innovation







Respondent Profile


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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