Robert Half has found Hong Kong financial services companies are having to increasingly adapt to digitisation within the workplace as the sector continues to experience a major digital and technological transformation. Independent research commission by the company says, adapting to digitisation doesn’t come without challenges and many are struggling to adapt to the pace of digital change. As a result, the majority of CFOs in the industry are planning to expand their staff headcount.
Almost three in four (74 per cent) Hong Kong CFOs within the financial services sector say it is challenging for their finance team to keep pace with rising digitisation and more than half (52 per cent) say their finance teams find it challenging to adapt to new technologies implemented by the company, highlighting the need for upskilling and continuous professional development.
The financial services industry understands the need to leverage the benefits of technology disruption and to increase its financial resources in order to fully do so. More than six in 10 (62 per cent) CFOs within financial services agree technology budgets in their department are likely to increase over the next five years and a similar number (64 per cent) say digitisation is already part of a robust strategy to deal with technology disruption.
This sentiment is reflected in a recent Deloitte report on the impact of increasing digitisation on the financial services sector, which emphasises the impact shouldn’t be considered a threat, but instead, the start of an ongoing journey that embraces change.
Adam Johnston, managing director of Robert Half Hong Kong said: “With the impact of disruptive technology set to change the face of the modern workplace, no industry will be the same in 10 years’ time. The financial services sector is no exception and will particularly benefit from digitisation initiatives such as cloud technology, Big Data analytics, fraud detection, and state-of the-art interfaces for customers and suppliers.
“Financial services companies are in a race to stay relevant and competitive, and embracing disruptive change is an ongoing process,” he continued. “Hong Kong has always been a global marketplace keen to adapt to positive change – and part of this change is to secure the skills and talent required to successfully reap the benefits of digitisations, thereby driving business success.”
Emphasising the need for additional talent to manage and implement technology initiatives, digitisation is driving more than half (56 per cent) of Hong Kong companies to hire temporary/contract specialists to manage new technology initiatives, while more than four in 10 (41 per cent) are hiring permanent specialists.
More than one in three (38 per cent) are creating new teams specifically for digitisation initiatives and adapting to change for existing employees is also a key focus point for financial services CFOs as 56 per cent are implementing training programs.
“Implementing change within any organisation requires the right talent, and bringing in contract professionals with specialist digitisation skillsets is a very cost-effective method of implementing long-term change. However, this should be part of an integrated approach to adopting new technologies that includes a permanent workforce adept in digitisation processes, as well as the proper investment in employee training to ensure their staff is equipped with the skills of the future,” added Johnston.