• Research
  • September 21, 2021

The Increasing Role of Data and Automation

The nexus of changing customer expectations, increasing competition and evolving regulation is providing opportunities and challenges that will transform businesses from across the spectrum.

At Morgan Stanley’s annual Australia Summit, Andrew McLeod, our technology and telecommunications analyst, hosted a round table discussion on the increasing role of data and automation with leading luminaries from three key industries. Andrew was joined by:

  • Emma Gray, Group Executive - Data and Automation, ANZ
  • Sandy Cameron, Executive Customer Decisioning, Consumer & Small Business, Telstra
  • Cameron Briggs, Head of Future Energy, Origin Energy

The discussion covered a broad range of topics and uncovered a surprising level of commonality in the opportunities and challenges facing three quite different industries – banking, telecommunications and energy.

Highlights from the conversation included:

  • Emma pointed to an intriguing emerging trend where industries are being broken into platform components, and these components are becoming industries in themselves. She pointed to core capabilities such as ‘know your customer’ (KYC), risk assessment, onboarding and transaction processing. These are capabilities that are fundamental to banking but are becoming increasingly important in other client-facing industries. She noted there is potential to package up KYC capability, for example, and sell it to other online businesses as ‘plug and play’ functionality. For online businesses that focus on brand and customer experience, being able to buy in this back-office expertise is inherently appealing. 
  • Cameron highlighted the careful balance that must be struck between protecting client data and delivering the solutions clients are looking for. He made the point that clients are generally happy for their data to be used to deliver amazing solutions – they will happily consent to that. Technology companies provide ample evidence of customers willingly providing their personal information if it powers products they find personally valuable. There was consensus among the group, however, that client consent can never be taken for granted and that use cases must always be respectful of the permissions they have been granted. Doing otherwise is inviting backlash from customers and regulators. 
  • Sandy pointed to the importance of taking a long-term, strategic view on the use of client data. He pointed to the experience of telcos internationally who took the opportunity to move into adjacent markets that allowed them to better monetise data and suggested that has not worked out particularly well in many cases. Owners of networks have extraordinary access to data and that naturally leads to significant oversight. Regulators are taking a leadership position, with customer consent, choice and control at the centre.

All of the round-table participants agreed disruption is alive and well and driving accelerating change. The nexus of changing customer expectations, increasing competition and evolving regulation is providing opportunities and challenges that will transform businesses from across the spectrum.

 

For more from Morgan Stanley’s Australia Summit and insights into disruption, speak to your Morgan Stanley financial adviser or representative.