The key drivers of global finance and new technology forces have converged on the financial services industry forcing firms to adapt and transform their business in order to win market share and operate more efficiently. Our financial services team is excited to head to New York next week to participate in the discussions at SIFMA Tech around how technology is revolutionizing the industry. But before we pack our bags and head out, here’s a rundown of trends, speakers and sessions you won’t want to miss. We look forward to seeing you there!
5 Discussions You Won’t Want to Miss
- Digital Disruption – Innovators have long thought of financial services as an industry ripe for digital disruption, but competition and customer expectations around digital services has reached a feverish pitch. Software-based startups like Wealthfront are on the rise and capturing the attention of established asset management, private banking and wealth management firms. As a matter of fact, I came across a CNBC article titled, “You may soon get financial advice from a machine”. It’s entirely possible. Digital investment managers may soon be the least of our concerns. Watson may play a big role in wealth management one day. There will be a lot of buzz around this subject at SIFMA.
- Data is the Next Generation’s Natural Resource – As many have said over the course of the past few years data is going to be the basis of competitive advantage in the very near future. More than 2.5 billion gigabytes of data are created each day. To be able to address digitization, fraud and data security, performance, and enhancing the customer experience, we’re seeing a dramatic uptick in the importance of information strategies.
- Regulatory Readiness – I recently skimmed a Sungard survey that stated that only one in two companies are highly ready for regulatory change. Why is that? Regulators continue to step up their scrutiny of risks and new reforms that have yet to be completed. Rules have not yet been proposed to meet approxately 25 percent of rulemaking requirements. The seemingly never-ending process of meeting regulatory requirements for many has even caused them to rethink the way they work. Financial services firms will continue to invest heavily in technology, people and process change between now and 2015. Despite these investments, businesses are still learning from others successes and failures, to reach regulatory excellence. My prediction, the topic of regulatory compliance will be part of almost every conversation we have at SIFMA Tech.
- The Cloud Debate – Despite the well-known benefits of cloud – lower costs, rapid deployment and scalability, until recently, the capital markets industry has been hesitant to adopt the technology because of concerns with security and control. While many companies are asking the question of whether or not to move to the cloud, the more important question for financial services companies to consider is when and how to use cloud. Look for early use cases from SIFMA attendees and some good discussions around the processes and policies that need to be in place to move the cloud. As new market forces and declining revenues continue to impact firms, the decision to outsource data storage solutions and evaluate cloud-based services in capital markets will continue to increase.
- Sales and Marketing Efficiency – On top of the digital technology that has infiltrated the financial lives of consumers, mobile has had a profound impact on how businesses operate. We’ve implemented Seismic, a mobile content management platform, for clients’ sales and marketing teams to provide mobile access to investment product artifacts such as factsheets, pitchbooks, investment reviews, etc. to meet the demands of asset and wealth managers, compliance, and prospective investors. Also, look for solution providers at SIFMA to showcase social media tools to improve efficiency and compliance for marketing teams.
SIFMA Tech Sessions and Speakers of Note
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SIFMA Tech will be jam packed with great topics and tracks, but here’s a rundown of speakers and some of the session highlights I look forward to.
In addition to getting a copy of Breaking Banks signed by Brett King himself, I’m looking forward to the “Lunch with Technology Entrepreneurs” panel he’ll be participating in. Financial innovators, like Moven, are disrupting the way financial services firms think about their business and customers. The unique perspectives from this panel of technology visionaries will not disappoint.
While still on the topic of disruption, the IBM session with Kristof Kloeckner, “Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies” will be a good one. I listened to a similar keynote from Ginni Rometty while at NRF 2014 this past January. She talked about four emerging technologies that would continue to disrupt the industry. Similar to that discussion, Kloeckner will discuss the role that mobile, social, big data and the cloud are playing in transforming the financial services industry. We’ve also had more discussions with our clients around DevOps as an approach to application delivery for greater speed to market and quicker time to value. In an increasingly competitive landscape, the ability to deliver software faster will be a differentiator for financial services firms.
As a technology marketer myself, the topic of social media is always of interest to me. Financial marketers have the unique challenge of monitoring social conversations and overcoming compliance workflows to respond to customers on social media in a timely manner. For firms, like RBC Capital, Wells Fargo Advisors and Bank of America Merrill Lynch this is undoubtedly a complex obstacle to overcome as the need for more personal interactions with customers continues to be in demand. I look forward to the session, “Social Media – Technology, Management, and Compliance” with compliance executives, Iain Duke-Richardet, Stephen Bard and Doug Preston, as they share best practices and opportunities to explore social channels using technology platforms and monitoring tools in financial services.
Join Perficient Financial Services at SIFMA Tech 2014
SIFMA Tech brings together the best and brightest technology solution providers redefining the future of the global finance industry – and we’re one of them. Join us as we showcase our industry expertise and discover how we help today’s leading firms respond to these five critical areas now and in the years to come. Attendees have the opportunity for personal meetings with our industry experts to discuss the unique technology challenges and new business approaches you face. Be sure to stop by and meet with our team of industry experts, or request a one-on-one executive meeting by visiting us at booth #1210. Learn more about our presence at SIFMA Tech.