Industry disruption: It’s thrilling when your organization is causing it — and quite the opposite if your organization is lagging behind.
Attendees of Nicsa’s Strategic Leadership Forum got the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge by exploring the latest tech solutions, ecosystems, and configurations during a general session moderated by Phil Andriyevsky, Partner, Wealth and Asset Management, EY.
Sumedh Mehta, CIO, Putnam Investments, said the level of change we’ve seen in the past few years is jarring — even for the most technically advanced. “Our clients, including the younger generation that quickly adopted social media in the beginning, are seeing their world getting disrupted through some of the newer technologies like the meta-verse coming at them.”
So, where do firms start in preparing for disruption through digital transformation? Matthew Glickman, VP, Customer Product Strategy, Global Head of Financial Services of Snowflake (a cloud data platform), said it’s important to consider the value you’re bringing to your clients.
“If there’s an area in which you’re differentiating, that is where you want to focus technology and business resources,” Glickman said. “If you can, choose a best-in-class managed service in the cloud. The last two years have accelerated that [trend].”
Greg McCall, Co-Founder & President, Equity Data Science (EDS), agreed, adding that partnering with FinTech groups is generally a better idea than a firm attempting to build a system from scratch.
“For us, it's really about helping our clients better use the data that they have available to them, making better decisions, helping them understand where they succeed, where their blind spots are. Ultimately, our clients save time and reduce research and operating expenses, because we are utilizing software that matches and enhances their workflows.”
Many third-party Fintech companies employ a consumption-based revenue model, meaning that firms no longer have to make significant upfront capital expenditure (CapEx) investments in technology.
“That's a fundamental shift — you're no longer making fixed-cost commitments; you pay as you use these services,” Glickman said. “It's a less risky proposition for the buyer. It also means that companies like Snowflake and EDS have to keep innovating. We have to earn the business every day.”
Mehta said Putnam Investments has operated with an eye toward extended partnerships in the past few years. To that end, the firm helped build massfintechhub.com, a community that aims to transform financial services through rapid innovation.
“We are participating, among others, to form one place to go for creating FinTech opportunities,” Mehta said. “We have third parties, FinTech startups, academia, and the government working together for the greater good. We can't do this alone. Recognizing that, and bringing in the technologies at the right time, makes this interesting. At the end of this talk, if you do one thing, call your IT leaders, and ask for more technology at your firms."
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