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Is disruption your competitive advantage?

World chess champion Garry Kasparov studies the board shortly before game two of the match against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. REUTERS.

We hear a lot about disruption. From the implications of Brexit and the regulatory uncertainty stemming from the Trump administration through to mass global migration, disruption is happening all the time.

It can be overwhelming, with changes seemingly happening overnight. But, as delegates to a major Thomson Reuters summit in New York will discuss and analyze on May 3, disruption can also be an opportunity.

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Those who have armed themselves with the right tools and consulted the right sources will be a step ahead of the competition — enabling the prepared to gain a true advantage.

Innovation vs. disruption

So, how can these opportunities be realized? One sure way is to master change.

Every industry — including banking — is engaged in innovation, but that’s no longer enough to survive in the age of disruption. It’s now easier than ever before to fall behind and never catch up.

Compared to innovation, disruption involves upending a whole business model or way of doing things. Companies such as Apple, Uber and Airbnb have completely reinvented how people choose to listen to music, hail a cab or take a vacation.

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According to Terence Mauri, who is the author of the best seller The Leader’s Mindset: How to Win in the Age of Disruption, you can be a leader, a follower or out of business.

He said: “No company wants to become a footnote in corporate history. The simple truth is that if you don’t disrupt the status quo, you might just become it.”

Platform approach

Leaders can help their organizations master large-scale, unpredictable change.

One way is to think like a start-up.

Speed and scale, two key elements of disruption, happen because new entrants are building their businesses on internet-based platforms hosted in the cloud.

Leaders can use technology to stay ahead of their competitors. Photographer: Edgar Su

Financial services companies need to start seeing themselves as platform companies, break down silos, increase transparency and the flow of data, and look squarely at the future.

And they can take advantage of their size.

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Regtech influence

No other industry has been affected as much by the technology innovation of the last five to 10 years as financial services.

And being arguably the most heavily regulated industry, it’s no surprise that firms are leaning on technology as a prime vehicle to help deal with myriad regulatory compliance functions necessary to run the business.

Apple, and Steve Jobs, revolutionized the way people listened to music. Photographer: Daniel Munoz

That’s why regulatory technology, or regtech, has become one of the hottest topics for compliance and risk officers over the past year.

And, with fintech, regtech and the role of compliance, it is critical to be prepared.

It is estimated that 15-20 percent of the total cost of running a firm’s business goes directly to compliance operations.

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Therefore, it is important to understand how applying regtech could make a significant contribution to increasing the profitability and efficiency of financial institutions, while improving their effective compliance with financial regulations.

So what does this all mean?

Clearly, the need for trusted answers is the ongoing challenge for everyone involved in this fourth industrial revolution.

Overview of the session “Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2017. Photographer: Ruben Sprich

Join the conversation

Join the conversation and register for the Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk Summit on Wednesday, May 3 at the Marriott Marquis in New York.

The summit brings together thought leaders and practitioners from the financial markets, as well as the risk and compliance communities.

This full-day series features interactive discussions around disruption.

Sessions cover market structure, anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer initiatives, as well as big data, regulation and much more.

This is a complimentary event for Thomson Reuters customers, associates and industry professionals.

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