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Aon-Tech Convergence in Financial Services QandA-Article

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Staying Ahead of the Curve: Tech Convergence in Financial Services Q&A 2 There is no doubt that financial services will eventually experience a full digital transformation. Digital will no longer be a buzzword, a large transformation project, or a function within the firm. Instead, it will be the fundamental root of everything that we do—just as it is for technology companies. For tech firms, there isn't a distinction between traditional and new. The entire firm is digital and works in the same way. Traditional financial services firms will need to follow suit. For financial services firms to fully embrace the technology sector way of working, they must adapt their existing culture. Without change, the financial services sector will struggle to hire and retain the technology talent needed to pave the way for future digital success. What factors are firms considering when it comes to location strategy and competing for top talent in high cost locations? High cost locations often come with a double-edged sword—there is a lot of available talent, but there is also high demand for this talent, particularly the above average performers. Organizations are taking a surgical approach when thinking about this talent. Many of our clients are focused on talent or workforce skills segmentation, creating a strategy to identify what skills are critical to future growth and formulating a plan to acquire those skills. This may involve a premium compensation strategy or other approaches to reduce the reliance on acquiring new talent in high cost locations. For instance, in certain situations, companies take a buy versus build approach, while others focus on talent retention and internal development strategies to create the top talent in their current locations. Additionally, some organizations supplement the above with a long-term talent view by creating a strong talent pipeline within universities, helping to build an influx of analyst, associate, and entry level engineering talent. When seeking external talent, carefully considering office location is essential for attracting top talent in high cost areas. Location analytics help optimize geographical footprints by considering labor cost and availability. The smartest companies are moving towards "best combination" cities, with abundant technical talent, marquis employers nearby, and an attractive quality of life. How are firms developing non-tech staff to grow in a tech-centric financial services environment? Long-term success will require the entire organization to get ahead—and not just tech talent. Therefore, it is crucial to help all employees, including non-tech staff, grow in the digital world. Companies are finding that the core elements needed to stay ahead of the curve are not necessarily the employees' technical or digital skills, but broader competencies, such as the ability to learn, agility, and being open to change. By harnessing these behaviors, organizations can create adaptable workforces that channel innovation, continuous curiosity, and self- improvement—which are all essential components of a continuously evolving workplace. We have identified six steps that firms are taking to improve digital readiness for all employees, including non-tech and tech talent: 1. Assess and develop your leaders: Your leaders are the catalysts for, and the role models of, successful digital working across your firm. If the message to develop comes from the top, then it is more likely to be heard. Make sure you provide the resources for them to be thoroughly prepared. 2. Assess and up-skill your existing employees: Assess your employees and create targeted development programs to address any competency gaps that are needed for a tech-centric workplace.

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