SCOPING DIGITAL BUSINESS STRATEGY IN BANKING: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF ITALY, SWEDEN AND SWITZERLAND
Abstract: Digitalization is profoundly impacting the banking industry. Banks are no longer thesole providers of financial services as they face competition from fintech startupsand firms from other industries entering the financial services market. In order tomeet this increased competition and uncertainty, traditional banks are being compelledto adapt by creating digital business strategies that enable flexibility andadaptability of their products and services. This paper aims to contribute to the digitalbusiness strategy perspective by making a comparative study on the scope of digitalactivities of nine leading banks in Sweden, Switzerland and Italy. The research questionsguiding this paper are: What portfolios of digital activities do the banks conductto build digital business strategy? and How do these portfolios of digital activitiesdiffer across markets? This paper answers these questions by first revealing areas ofaction within digital value disciplines through an inductive approach by studying theannual reports of the three banks in each country. The digital activities undertakenby each bank within these areas of action is then compared in response to the secondresearch question. The results show that the banks are actively building portfolioswithin ten areas of action as part of their digital business strategy. The results alsoshow that the focus of the portfolios of digital activities differ between markets aswell as between each bank in each market. This paper concludes that in regards tothe digital business strategy it is important to highlight the strong interplay betweenthe the digital value disciplines. For example, if companies digitally reshape theircustomer experience, they might have to reshape their operations, which might alsoaffect their digital innovation capabilities.
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