The Leader Magazine

SEP 2017

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32 SEPTEMBER 2017 ThE lEadER Royal Bank of Canada's digital T he financial technology boom is transforming the banking industry as we know it – including the management of its corporate real estate (CRE). At the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), a global banking giant doing business around the world, we recognize the nature of our competitors has changed. These days, we don't just compete with other banks, but also with Google, Apple and Amazon as mobile-payment "fintech" transforms how consumers pay for goods in their daily lives. In response, we are rapidly evolving from a traditional bank into a financial services technology company. And that's a journey in which the CRE department plays an active role. We chose to embrace the disruption. Our organization committed to large-scale digital transformation, including looking carefully at our real estate systems and operations. Most urgently, we saw an opportunity to use technology to streamline global CRE operations and leverage data to make smarter, faster decisions. As part of this journey, we embraced a new vision: to become a global leader in using CRE technology. The goal was straightforward. Using technology as the global integrator, we would seamlessly manage multiple work streams and geographies from a process, data and business intelligence perspective, and help the entire enterprise become more nimble and competitive. To achieve this vision, we created "CRE 5.0," a forward-looking, digital operating model that integrates numerous software applications and service providers, and embeds innovation in our CRE activities. Working toward the CRE 5.0 concept, we matched our current business model with an appropriately integrated hybrid technology platform consisting of internal systems and bundled service-delivery applications from providers performing services across a number of different CRE functions. Our technologies now provide us with a globally integrated view of all our real estate data and help us extract meaningful insights and offer innovative services to our internal stakeholders. But our CRE transformation didn't happen overnight. Too much technology, or too little of the right kind? Back in 2011, we were already seeing the impact of new consumer technologies and competitors on the banking industry. It was clear that continuing technology innovation would be critical. At the same time, we needed to invest heavily in technology infrastructure to comply F E A T U R E A R T I C L E by Nadeem Shabbar and Stephan Cloitre

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