Financial institutions worldwide are cautiously optimistic about 2010. While CIOs are not planning huge IT budget increases, they are focusing on three main areas: (1) improving transparency, (2) increasing efficiency, and (3) leveraging networks.
Regulators and investors alike want more visibility into the business. Regulators want to be confident that executives have a firm grasp of their risk and certain that banks have the right level of capital reserves to weather any future storm.
Transparency requires the right data and the right analytics for data to become actionable in a timely manner. The data is there, but it is often inaccessible, incomplete and inconsistent. Getting data out of many systems is a real challenge. Then it’s a question of how fast it can be analyzed to get results.
Risk and compliance will consume firms’ resources going forward. Firms will need to unlock data for better risk management, and for meeting increased reporting requirements.
Past focus on cost cutting has shifted to efficiency. Firms are looking for better ways to leverage existing resources and gain efficiency for growth and profitability.
The main areas of focus around efficiency include automating (1) processes with increasing volumes to ensure lower cost scalability, (2) labor intensive, paper based or manual processes to reduce operational risk, and (3) customer facing processes to increase customer satisfaction.
Legacy infrastructures and well established business processes create many challenges. Changing workflows of information and people can be difficult. New processes can get locked into place, making it difficult to adapt to new circumstances.
Business Process Management (BPM) can help solve this problem. Our whole move to SaaS solutions aligns with the desire to be more efficient. On-demand solutions allow for quick access to capabilities as they’re needed, procurement based actual usage, and rapid implementation without the IT strain.
Firms will continue to leverage networks to automate the business value chain or the “ecosystem” of institutions that work together. Networks connect firms together, giving them more choices and business opportunity.
Choosing the right networks is a challenge. They need to get firms to the right places and offer additional value along the way. SunGard’s global trading network gives firms the ability to access new markets, offer new asset classes, and tap into additional services such as unique pools of liquidity.
In capital markets, the smaller mid-tier brokers see a real opportunity for growth. To succeed, they’ll need a transaction processing infrastructure on a global network to access the venues that provide best execution, most aggressive rebates and best liquidity.
What do you see as the biggest challenges related to transparency, efficiency and networks? How is your firm managing them?