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20 Years Agile Manifesto – An Overview of the Values & Principles

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Agile Manifesto, I would like to take another look at the central concepts of the document. Because even after this long time, the values and principles contained represent the basic tenets of the agile working method and can be found in many different agile methods, such as Scrum, Kanban or SAFe.

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Ant Group – The Brightest Star in the Ecosystem Sky?

37 billion US dollars. With this issue volume, Ant Group, formerly Ant Financial, a Chinese tech group created by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, was to be traded on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. Many see new value creation logics, so-called business ecosystems, which Ant Group is said to have developed for itself, as being behind the rapid growth and the extremely high company valuation. However, the assumption that Ant Group is an ecosystem should be treated with caution. In the following, we have analyzed individual platforms in more detail based on the work of the CC Ecosystem.

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Business Ecosystem, Innovation Ecosystem, Platform Ecosystem – How Many Ecosystem Terms Do We Really Need?

The trend towards value creation in ecosystems has led to a multitude of ecosystem definitions in the past. This makes it difficult even for the interested reader to understand the research results presented. To what extent do the ecosystem concepts really differ and can the findings of one field be transferred to the other?

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The Robo-Advisor – A Substitute for the Human Investment Advisor?

In my last post, I explained what characteristics distinguish the robo-advisory process from that of traditional client advice provided by a human advisor. Today, I explain how exactly these characteristics affect the traditional client advisory process and change it to create the robo-advisory process that I presented in the third post of this series. Finally, I answer the question of which of the two advisory processes is the better one.

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Food for Thought – Book Reviews and Reading List 2020

Another rather exciting year has passed, during which was able to advance some of my personal projects, among them being self-reflection. Reading books is one of the tools I use to reflect on my perspectives and to refine and adjust them, wherever I feel necessary. While I tried to tap into a diverse set of ideas and experiences during 2020, this article will present five highlights, hoping that some of the ideas I found most inspiring will provide some food for thought for you, as well.

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What Distinguishes a Robo-Advisor?

In my last post, I detailed the customer advisory processes for a human advisor and a robo-advisor. Today I explain what causes these differences. This step is important to be able to understand and explain the differences between the two advisory processes and then, in a next step, to be able to derive the impact of robo-advisory services and to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of robo-advisors compared to the traditional customer advisory process.

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Robo-Advisors vs. Traditional Customer Advisors

My last post before the Christmas break was about which business models and strategies a robo-advisor can align its offering with. Today, I will present the customer advisory processes of traditional, human banking advisory services and robo-advisors. In the rest of the series, I will then discuss the impact caused by robo-advisors which form of advisory is better and whether robo-advisors will be able to replace bank advisors in the near future.

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What Is a Robo-Advisor and Why Should We Care?

In the course of the change from a personalized customer experience at a bank to the desire for standardized and digitized processes, “robo-advisors” are becoming increasingly important. Today’s article looks at how robo advisory services are defined and how they came into being, whether they are serious competition for banks, and what stage of development robo-advisors are at now.

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Agile Corporate Culture – What’ s It All About? (Part 2)

The culture of a company is the beliefs, values and behaviors that shape the social and psychological environment of the organization. As a 2017 Capgemini change management study shows, the companies that transform most successfully are also those that involve their employees in the transformation process from start to finish and thus actively promote a change in corporate culture. Many studies from science and practice also make it clear that the path to an agile culture is not an easy one. In a recent article, the consulting firm McKinsey has published four lessons learned from its experience with clients around the world that offer a good approach to how companies can foster the development of an agile culture.

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FinTech landscape in Switzerland: Blockchain and DLT

With a share of 10% of all FinTech companies in Europe, Switzerland is one of the leading innovation centers. The focus on distributed ledger technology is striking in Switzerland, especially in Crypto Valley Zug. In the meantime, 250 crypto companies have already settled there or are planning a location. However, Switzerland cannot rest on its laurels: to remain a leading innovation center, it constantly needs new FinTechs with innovative ideas. In order to identify gaps in the existing range of Swiss blockchain FinTechs and thus the innovation potential for further services, I analyze in this article the current service offering of the Swiss blockchain FinTech scene.

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The Relevance of Organizational Resilience in Times of Crisis and Beyond

Multinational companies have extensive and complex supply chains to operate as efficiently as possible. Within these production networks there is little room for error and preventive stress tests are rarely carried out. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how fragile such structures can be and what consequences can arise if too little attention is paid to risk exposure (Sneader & Lund, 2020).

But how could companies have better prepared for an unexpected event like the COVID-19 pandemic? And how relevant is organizational agility and resilience in this context?

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Augmented Reality in Education and the Financial Sector

The current corona virus situation has shown us that we are capable of taking big steps in digitalization in a very short time in the education sector. Digital methods have already found their way into schools and universities, but this sometimes hesitant development was reinforced to an unprecedented degree by the homeschooling required during the peak of the pandemic. Collaborative platforms have grown enormously, and new teaching and learning formats have been introduced in the form of explanatory videos and virtual lessons or group work. One technology, or rather a concept that has been largely ignored so far, but which offers great potential for improving both digital and face-to-face teaching, is augmented reality (AR), the enrichment of reality with virtual content.

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Open Banking White Paper – The Future of Collaboration in Corporate Banking

According to a survey, 90% of bankers are convinced that open banking can increase the organic growth of banks by 10%[1]. A global banking survey also found that 86% of banks plan to use open APIs in the next 12 months to enable open banking capabilities[2]. To address this development and better understand the opportunities and implications of the trend towards opening up a banks’ own IT infrastructure, the Business Engineering Institute and Commerzbank have jointly authored an open banking white paper on the future of corporate banking collaboration. In this white paper, we explored the overarching questions of what the open banking concept is all about and how it will change value creation, particularly in corporate banking.

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Open Banking Summit 2020 – Opportunities and Implementation Scenarios for Open Banking in Switzerland

Recently, the Swiss Bankers Association published an overview that outlines the status of open banking in Switzerland and formulates requirements for its further development of open banking. These requirements include the clear strategic positioning of Swiss banks and the joint development of standardized APIs for data exchange between financial institutions and third-party providers. The aim of this overview is to “support the dialogue in the financial center”, as Richard Hess writes in the initial contribution to the blog parade of the Swiss Bankers Association. The Open Banking Summit of the standardization initiative OpenBankingProject.ch pursued the same goal on September 10th, with various presentations focusing on these two requirements.

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Strategy in an Age of Increasing Interconnectedness – Taking Stock (Part 2)

The examples of Alibaba, Amazon and Airbnb impressively demonstrate the value creation potential of ecosystems compared to traditional, linear value creation structures. But how do you plan and develop an ecosystem? As I explained in the first part of this blog post, traditional strategy concepts cannot be easily transferred to ecosystems. So what constitutes an ecosystem strategy? In the following, I will present three further prerequisites for the successful design of an ecosystem, which must be part of every discussion about building or participating in any ecosystem.

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Strategy in an Age of Increasing Interconnectedness – Taking Stock (Part 1)

The term ecosystem strategy is very present in science and practice and numerous strategic recommendations for action, for example for taking on certain roles, can already be identified. However, a uniform understanding of the term or an overarching approach to building up or positioning oneself in ecosystems does not yet exist. In this blog post I try to approach the topic by identifying four prerequisites for the success of an ecosystem and by investigating the extent to which an ecosystem strategy differs from a classical corporate strategy.

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Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Financial Industry

Since the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has caused an enormous slump in the global economy due to lockdowns all over the world. The IMF expects global GDP to decline by 5%, and for the euro zone it is likely to be as much as 10.2% [1] – and these are the figures before a possible second wave. It remains to be seen how the economy will recover. What can already be well assessed, on the other hand, are the qualitative effects of the pandemic on the macro trends relevant to the financial industry.

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