Innovation Outlook 2017: Making Progress

by Michael Fitzgerald, March 2, 2017
Industry Trends


Celent invited innovation professionals from financial services firms to provide their outlook for 2017 in an online survey. The participants are all innovation practitioners who bring a current and practical perspective to their predictions. Their feedback is valuable for financial services leaders who want to benchmark and advance the innovation capabilities in their firms.

Celent has released a new report titled Innovation Outlook 2017: Making Progress. The report was written by Mike Fitzgerald, a Senior Analyst in Celent’s Insurance practice.

Innovation continued to gain traction in 2016. Customer expectations, the imperative of digital transformation, regulatory scrutiny, growth needs in the face of increasing competition, and expense pressures provide impetus for change.

Additionally, emerging technology provides opportunities. The rise of sensors and intelligent digital ecosystems blur the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds and generate massive new data sources. Next-generation analytics and artificial intelligence are coming on stream to harness that data and provide new services to prospects and clients.

In response, Celent expects the need for effective innovation in financial services to continue to accelerate. With the onset of a new year, Celent surveyed innovation practitioners to understand their outlook for 2017. Programs participating in the survey are between two and three years old, focus on incremental innovation, and budget for innovation as part of their technology spending.

Investment in technology enabling innovation and spending on external and internal staff are the areas expected to see the largest increases.

“These innovation professionals are optimistic about 2017. They expect that customer expectations will continue to grow and provide opportunities for innovative firms to gain market share,” Fitzgerald said.

“Work remains to be done, however. Practitioners expressed concern about funding sources and acceptance of experimentation by their organizations,” he added.

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].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Program Benchmarks


2017 Outlook



Business Drivers



Innovation Investments


Path Forward




Appendix — Survey Demographics


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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