Tech Trends that will Shape the Banking and Securities Industry in 2015


Banking customers have become much more digital savvy in the recent years, and technology has brought in new competition from non-banks to quickly fit the needs of these people. The banking industry is more reliant than ever on technology for many aspects of their business. Technology is used more and more not to simply sell products, but also to manage internal operations, and control risks. Many of the advances in technology— mobile, analytics, and cloud have a direct role to play in these areas. They enable services from incumbents and new entrants, and improve financial inclusion for the ones not served well by the traditional banking products.


“In the past year, the world’s largest listed company, Apple, has entered payments, and the world’s largest retailer, Walmart has announced that it will offer checking accounts. Non-banks are a growing phenomenon in many parts of the world. While the portion of revenue that non-banks get at the expense of banks is minuscule today, they are growing and creating new services in the unserved areas.”  Gartner has projected that the banking and securities industry worldwide will spend $502 bn on IT products and services in 2015, an increase of 2.7% over 2014. IT services, the largest segment at $193 bn, will grow by 3.3%. Software will be the fastest growing segment at 6.5%, and the projected spend is $70 bn.

Among priorities for technologies, analytics retains the top position for the third year in a row, while infrastructure/ datacenter, mobile, and cloud are the others that make up the top four technology priorities for the banking and securities industry. The increased reliance on technology for business goals has increased the participation of business leaders in technology decisions. Considering that I will be working at a banking company in the information technology department next year, this kind of information is pivotal for me to understand and grasp.  Banks are continuing to invest in their channels, whether branches, ATMs, online, and mobile.  Another huge plus to banking technology is that it also enables newer services to reach a large population, who have not been able to make use of them before. While banks are positioned well to seize the opportunities opened by technology, the future will have many innovative and useful financial services, offered both by banks and non-banks.


IBM Joins With Apple, J&J to Analyze Health Data in the Cloud

It was recently announced that IBM is joining with Apple Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic Plc are joining together to create a technology that will make it easier for health-care companies to analyze patient data.  I find it truly remarkable and renowned that three prestigious companies are joining forces and   International Business Machines Corp. announced a cloud-computing platform, called Watson Health Cloud, which can store and analyze anonymous patient data. An entirely new business unit will be created around the offering with at least 2,000 specialists, IBM said in a statement. According to an IBM representative: “IBM has been seeking growth in newer areas like data analytics and cloud computing as tumbling demand for legacy hardware and services has dragged down revenue. The company has increasingly relied on industry-specific partnerships to help boost sales, like these latest tie-ups in health care.” The information technology will not only increase revenue for all three companies, but will also make humongous strides for healthcare management.

“It’s a huge bet for IBM,” John Kelly, senior vice president for solutions portfolio and research, said in an interview. “We looked around for areas that were high growth where if we entered we could make a substantial difference and capture substantial share. None of us are satisfied with the outcomes in the health-care industry.”

Technology has made it much easier for patients and physicians to gather large quantities of health data, which in turn improves overall health of not only customers, but the population in general. It will be interesting to see where these innovations take the future of the world’s health.

Amazon Launches Machine Learning-As-A-Service

Amazon Web Services is now really starting to utilize it’s EC2 cloud, offering additional services to customers while the company is taking more steps to bring those services closer to the enterprise IT department. What causes the disruption here is that now in some cases, the services offered duplicate or even start to replace some of the older IT functions. Amazon has been steadily expanding what can be done with its cloud computing platform, claiming to have added 516 new features in 2014. One of the most interesting that I have read about was one introduced at its Amazon Summit in San Francisco and is a service not likely to be found in existing IT departments: machine learning.

There are many of cloud providers out there, but some give you a lot more to work with on top of the infrastructure than others, and that is what machine learning differentiates by. Gartner’s lead cloud analyst Lydia Leong said it another way: “IT organizations cannot treat infrastructure-as-a-service providers like commodities. In the process of explaining how Amazon is different, it was announced that Amazon’s latest figures for growth in 2014 stand at: Data transfers in its storage services are up 102% in 2014 over the prior year; EC2 compute activity is up 93%.

In short according to Amazon: Amazon Machine Learning is a managed service that analyzes a user’s historical data to look for patterns and deploy predictive models. It can examine customer data and find patterns of likely customer turnover or churn. It can find typical issues in customer support. It can isolate and detect the patterns of problem transactions. Machine Learning is used to make 50 billion predictions a week on Amazon.com. Now it is making the Machine Learning API and developer’s guide in the form of wizards available as another Amazon service. It will truly be interesting to see how businesses will take machine learning and make it their own in the future. It has clearly given Amazon a positive leverage to insight in their customers, so watching how other businesses will utilize the infrastructure will be ver thrilling.

To read more on the technology visit http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/infrastructure-as-a-service/amazon-launches-machine-learning-as-a-service/d/d-id/1319868



CFOs Jump To ERP Cloud To Accelerate And Integrate


This article discusses how the Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud, has proved that software as a service (SaaS) offers significant advantages in terms of implementation, reliability, scalability, and security. Traditionally corporations that implement this system are much  more successful and are able to expand and grow quicker. According to Oracle’s Q2 FY2015 earnings statement post implementation: New cloud bookings increased more than 140% in Q2 FY2015, with ERP and EPM revenue growing more than 80%, Oracle added 250 new ERP and EPM Cloud customers in the quarter, and Oracle now has more than 600 ERP and EPM Cloud customers.

Successful companies are realizing that Oracle is necessary and important for the future. Innovative, fast-growing companies, in particular, are tapping Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud to support rapid expansion. Last November, lynda.com, a growing online education company specializing in creative business skills, acquired Oracle ERP Cloud.  According to lynda.com CFO Elaine Kitagawa on looking to replace its aging on-premises financial system, Lynda.com conducted a “very thorough vetting process” of ERP cloud vendors and their offerings. She continues with how it offered a “strong, cohesive, and complete set of features” that impressed the financial team, as well as scalability and security the IT team took note of, Kitagawa says. At the same time, the Oracle team “really showed their commitment to lynda.com’s success,” she says. To see how a strong and flourishing company who relies solely on the web to generate revenue and customers, this review from their CFO is very satisfying. It will be interesting to see if and when more companies in other industries make the move.

To read more go to http://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2015/01/30/cfos-jump-to-erp-cloud-to-accelerate-and-integrate/

Cirque du Soleil Drives Creativity and Expansion with SAP Solutions

After reading the case study on Cirque Du Soleil, I wanted to learn a bit more about the business and specific systems that the corporation utilizes. What fascinated me the most had to be the aspect of how the business is essentially on wheels, and how they foster a successful company when on tour with some of the main systems being miles and miles away. Innovation and creativity play a huge factor in today’s thriving businesses, and it may seem as if for a business on wheels to be a difficult task, but this article proves the opposite. Being different as an organization does not hold Cirque back, but inspires them to continue to be different. As Olivier Gariepy, Senior Business Analyst at Cirque du Soleil said:

“Because creativity is the driving force of our company, we in IT need to be creative ourselves. We can’t turn down a creative idea because it doesn’t fit with our existing technology.”

The integration of SAP for Cirque was a task that most definitely was not simple and easy to implement, but is truly paying off now, saving outrageous amounts of money and allowing the business to be multitudes more efficient. “The implementation of SAP solutions has helped Cirque du Soleil optimize and review some of its business processes while collecting some valuable business data. And the next step is leveraging that data further.” It will truly be interesting to see what else the show will offer as times change and people’s interests evolve with culture and innovation.

If you would like to read more about the topic I found this article very interesting: http://sapinsider.wispubs.com/Assets/Case-Studies/2011/July/Cirque-Du-Soleil-Drives-Creativity-And-Expansion-With-SAP-Solutions

Subscribe to class via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this class and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 23 other subscribers