If you work in financial services, 2020 was an extraordinary year.
COVID-19 injected even more volatility into global markets and rolled some serious technology challenges at capital markets companies – especially in regard to operations management with the mass adoption of working at home. This has all happened at a time of heightened competition and just as the industry was starting to fully embrace digital transformation.
To understand how the industry is coping with these added challenges, we partnered with WBR Insights to survey 100 senior technology decision makers in the industry, including chief operating officers and heads of innovation, in Europe and the US. The results, and our analysis of what this means for the future, are published in the CMIS report Operations Management in 2020: How capital markets can innovate operations during the COVID-19 pandemic .
Facilitating operations management efficiency with “big picture” data
Overall, the findings highlight the importance of having robust data management infrastructures to handle unexpected demands in front, middle, and back-end operations and being able to respond rapidly to market changes.
The primary point is that because capital markets businesses deal with huge volumes of data, they need the right data management platforms at their respective cores to respond quickly and effectively to significant events as they unfold to minimize risk and raise competitive advantage.
This needs to offer a real-time, accurate and enterprise-level view of the data, stored in just one place to optimize its use. Only 10% of respondents said it was “very easy” to obtain a complete and accurate, enterprise-level view of their data, and 42% said it was just “somewhat easy.” The research shows sell-side organizations still struggle to implement a centralized data hub and clear data management procedures across the entire organization.
What can data management and analytics do for capital markets firms?
A good data management platform can provide powerful, real-time analytics on top of transaction processing without performance impact, underpinning technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that are becoming more prevalent in finance. It can provide the insights needed to make rapid business decisions, take intelligent programmatic actions, and deliver value quickly.
New solutions must also be based on interoperability. When we asked respondents what they were looking for from third-party technology providers, 68% said it was ease of integration with the data infrastructure they already have.
Financial institutions tend to have many different and legacy systems in place, so it follows that they want any new solutions to be seamlessly integrated with their existing technology infrastructure. Interoperability will help remove data silos and facilitate the sharing of information between systems by connecting people, processes, and applications.
While grasping the right data management and analytics technology is paramount, capital markets firms also expect providers to act as trusted partners. This means having the track record to match their claims about meeting customers’ needs and demonstrating how they are invested in their success, ready to provide the support needed to get the most from the technology infrastructure.
Countering COVID-19’s impact with trade technology’s impact
In short, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact is likely to be lasting, both accelerating and disrupting the adoption of new operations management technologies by capital markets firms. What is clear is that as competition increases and the landscape continues to change, it is vital capital markets firms undergo digital transformation and adapt their existing solutions to become more agile organizations. COVID-19 has only emphasized how vital agility is in financial services – the need for it was already there. It is only with this kind of agility that financial services companies can gain a competitive edge.
Firms embracing new solutions to better exploit data and complement existing trade technology investments will outperform competitors, grow their customer base and their share of wallet, increasing market share, revenue, and margins.
For more on this topic, read the full report.