OREANDA-NEWS. Fintech is disrupting the financial services industry and leaders are turning to HR technology for strategic competitive advantage.

According to Julia Wagner, vice president of Business Transformation Advisory & Strategic Industries at SAP, who moderated a panel at the recent SuccessConnect 2016 event, startups are upending traditional financial services companies along with their outdated business models. Every aspect of the industry is up for grabs, including retail banking, payments, lending, investing, real estate, and insurance. However, using the right HR technologies, financial services organizations can transform business models to harness the dynamic power of fintech – provided they move quickly to deliver valuable online services.

Fintech is disrupting financial services; industry leaders turn to HR technology for advantage

“There’s a huge market opportunity for financial services companies to leverage technology, more than we’ve ever seen before,” said Wagner. “For example, insurance industry executives see Google and Amazon as their biggest threats because they are all driven by data analytics. As a result, financial services companies are starting to transform by acquisition, collaboration, and their own innovation. Many experts are saying if you’re not on board now with a strategy to transform your business and do things differently, you are probably too late.”

Sun Communities Disrupts Status Quo

Marc Farrugia, vice president of Human Resources at Sun Communities, was among the panelists who talked about his company’s transformational journey from paper-based HR systems to online, mobile connectivity. As a real estate investment trust with over 330 locations in North America, Sun Communities is considered a leading -edge disruptor using HR technology for powerful competitive advantage.

“More and more, our residents are coming to our website for fast information on our entire inventory using their mobile devices,” he said. “On the resort side of our business, people want to see what sites, cabins and amenities are available at our various properties. We also have job seekers coming to our site and want to make a good impression online, making it easy for them to apply for positions.”

The HR team has been at the forefront of Sun Communities’ transformation, fully supported by senior-level executives. “We report up through the president and COO, and have been a huge proponent of technological innovation. We’ve made a business case for technology, fueling change not only within HR but through the rest of the company,” said Farrugia.