Transforming an Analog Company into a Digital Company: The Case of BBVA

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Banks must urgently undertake a far-reaching technological and cultural transformation. The industry is swiftly advancing towards a new ecosystem. The emerging new competitors—mostly spilling over from the internet—are unburdened by cost legacies and closely aligned with the needs and characteristics of new “digital” customers. To survive and thrive in that environment, banks must leverage their key competitive edge, namely, the information they already have about their customers, turning it into knowledge to deliver a better customer experience. BBVA began its transformation towards knowledge-driven banking seven years ago. This paper reviews the main elements of that process: the construction of a sophisticated technology platform which is already in operation today, and an in-depth cultural shift. Recently, with the creation of the Digital Banking Area, BBVA has addressed radical organizational change to drive forward a renewal of corporate culture and speed up the transition from being a highly effective “analog” bank — as BBVA used to be—to achieving its goal of being the first knowledge-based service provider of the digital age.