Finance Monthly - February 2022

32 Finance Monthly. Bank i ng & F i nanc i a l Se r v i ce s inancial services enterprises are under greater pressure to digitally transform. According to new Telehouse research, more than four out o ten (42%) financial service enterprises need to transform their IT infrastructure or risk becoming less competitive – a figure significantly higher than the 34% average across other sectors. Pressure is being driven by a combination of factors, including customer demands for more connected, relevant and personalised experiences (46%), the need to simplify business and operating models to increase efficiency (46%), cyber security (44%) and the necessity to deliver new applications and services to customers (44%). The emergence of nimbler challenger banks and ambitious FinTechs has set the challenge for businesses across the sector to step up a gear and reshape their operations. For many, a shift from a traditional on-premise infrastructure, to a more modern mix of colocation, cloud and ultimately, edge computing is the answer. Scoping the challenge Today, financial services firms need to react quickly to regulatory demands and take advantage of market opportunities. However, they often don’t have the right systems in place to manage, or effectively use data to respond as quickly as their ‘digitally native’ peers. The problem is many are still reliant on inflexible, legacy, on-premise infrastructure. The research revealed that financial services organisations outsource the lowest proportion of IT infrastructure to colocation and the cloud of the enterprise sectors polled. So, it’s not surprising the sector also has the lowest confidence in IT maturity, with just 30% of IT decision-makers describing their organisation’s IT maturity as ‘very advanced’. Transformation is clearly needed but it is not always an easy task. Historically, financial services firms have struggled to adopt new technologies and meet increasingly high customer expectations quickly, often limited by strict compliance and regulatory requirements, which ratcheted up after the global financial crisis of 2008. Even with the appetite to change, many have struggled to make meaningful progress, held back by legacy IT systems. But with time of the essence and providing personalised, connected and reliable experiences now businesscritical, organisations can simply no longer afford to stand still. Why connectivity is key As customer demand and internet consumption grows, financial services organisations need to find ways to increase connectivity between offices and countries and improve the user interface on customer-focused technology like apps and websites. 5G will offer many benefits for financial services including reduced latency, which in turn will help decrease transaction and settlement times. It will also facilitate the adoption of AI to enable greater personalisation and improvements to customer experience. “According to the Telehouse research, financial services organisations are already outsourcing 38% of IT infrastructure in colocation with adoption set to increase further as the use of big data; 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) rises.”

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