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5 Key Takeaways from the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo

by Bruno Macedo | 2 December, 2019

In November, I visited the one of the most anticipated events of the year: The 2019 Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo. In this blog I explain what’s on the mind of CIO’s and IT executives. This prestigious event hosted more than 7.000 executives discussing top technology, insights and trends shaping the future of IT and business.

It is difficult to choose from the innovative amount of talks and presentations on digital leadership, business strategy, information and technology content. But there are 5 takeaways that stand out towards the World of Banking and Fintech; Ethics, Data, Hyper-automation, Privacy and Cloud. These five topics were merged into the present and future strategies as pillars for a successful business plan.

1) Hyper-automation is an unavoidable strategy


What is hyper-automation? It is the combination of multiple intelligent machine learning systems, packaged software and automation tools that deliver work. This is referred to as Hyper-automation. Powered by the cloud and innovative IT architectures, Banks and Fintechs can now discover, analyse, design, automate, measure, monitor and reassess at incredible speeds with impressive accuracy. Yes, all these characteristics are there, and that is one of the reasons why current executives experience such an impressive technology paradigm. Within this impressive data access change, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and intelligent business process management suites (iBPMS) are the key components. The first (RPA) is referred as an increasingly useful way to connect legacy systems without API exposure to modern open systems, to move structured data and to augment knowledge workers by removing mundane and repetitive tasks. The second one (iBPMS) is identified as a set of technologies that can orchestrate machines, people and things. iBPMS are powered by models of processes and rules that drive a user interface and manage the context of many work items (based on those models). Therefore, most of the time they are addressed as more enhanced than RPAs and powerful when integrated with external systems via APIs.

 2) Data is still hugely unleveraged


Since these iBPMS support the full life cycle of business process and decisions - discovery, analysis, design, implementation, execution, monitoring and continuous optimization - they are a natural optimal area for an integration with advanced analytics and machine learning.

As we know banks have access to an impressive amount of data, but taking advantage of Hyper-automation and its components, we can surely expect new business models as well as more robustness to the industry's possible future curves.

3) Embracing the Cloud


On the banks' and fintechs' side, we can now see clearly that the strategic move to embrace the cloud as the base architectural support for services has started. By doing so, banks and fintechs expect to create and access faster, less costly, scalable, open, modular and modern platforms. Platforms that are prepared to make use of hyper-automation by combining the best of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data into a redefinition of the business proposal.

From the customer perspective, it is clear that technology is changing customers’ lives; enabling a cognitive, customized, unique and phygital experience to each person blending the digital and physical worlds to create a natural and immersive enhanced digital experience. Nowadays, technology providers are very advanced in this manner. This year, AI exploitation was one of the major offer at the symposium towards the financial industry.

4) Ethics are everywhere


It is important to also mention another set of buzz words from the conference, directly related to what was previously exposed: “Ethics” and “Ethical Banking/Finance”. With great power and data access comes great responsibility, so in this intelligent digital access, banks and fintechs need a greater focus on ethics, privacy, transparency and traceability in order to process such huge amounts of diversified data. We must not forget that we are still recovering from the effects of the financial crises and the loss of trust.

5) Privacy is a concern for everyone


Lastly, by having access to all these tools and capacities, when you create new strategies or are adopting new or renewed business models, you should do it under a paradigm of transparency, security and traceability. It is not surprising that Ethical Banking/Finance took the stage on all talks with the management of customer data and privacy as the focus during the symposium.

Coming back from the symposium, it is clear to me that we are experiencing a data revolution within the fintech revolution itself and that data revolution requires a maturity that customers and regulators expect, as they have already experienced a lot in the past years. It is also clear that executives need to leverage IT to support their business models and proposals, but also to create the robustness they need to overcome possible curves.

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