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A short article by Craig Hughes, Chief Enterprise Architect at Danske Bank

A large percentage of digital strategies fail; we cannot deny this. Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of Everest Group believes this could as high as 70%; citing fatigue from continuous change as the top reason. He offers that, the reason for this fatigue, is due to a lack of upfront commitment, failing to take an iterative approach and thinking technology first.

Academics like Professor Michael R Wade of IMD believe digital strategies fail because, amongst other things, we put too much emphasis on disruptors rather than the disruption and we tend to focus on silos in our organisation. Jacques Bughin and his colleagues at Mckinsey Digital feel that digital strategies fail because we overlook ecosystems or over-index on the usual suspects.

Whatever the reason, partial or complete failure to implement a digital strategy has consequences. When digitising systems, we often need to create a world that plays nicely with the old and the new – this can result in tactical solutions that we intend to clean up later. The truth, however, is that these often end up being more “stractical”. We are left with components or infrastructure that are less than desirable.

From a customer’s point of view, having to deal with failed strategies can be frustrating, infuriating, and just plain confusing. I will be presenting a use-case on one of these failures, from a customer perspective, during my talk at the 6th Annual Retail Banking Technologies Summit on the 23rd and 24th of February 2022.

Craig will be also speaking about digital strategy and failures banks face while designing and implementing one at our 6th Annual Retail Banking Technologies Summit in February 2022.


Peter Bendor-Samuel, Everest Group, “Why digital transformations fail: 3 exhausting reasons”

Professor Michael R Wade,, url:,

Bughin et el, McKinsey Digital, url:

Craig Hughes, Chief Enterprise Architect and Senior Specialist in API and Web Technologies at Danske Bank is responsible for breaking the core banking systems into business domains; using these as the building blocks to create reusable business process via APIs. Employing an evolutionary architecture to move ahead strategically, while still supporting the day-to-day operations and growth of the business.
Craig believes that our digital lives are continuously changing; new technologies, platforms and approaches are adopted at a significant rate by society. Incumbent banks generally struggle to keep abreast of these changes – often seen as the dinosaurs of industry. His mission is to change that; to help banks realise their digital ambitions. Avoiding the proverbial “lipstick on a pig” approach, preferably helping banks evolve their entire landscape digitally while still keeping the lights on.

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