Banks Embrace Tech to Navigate Economic and Cyber Challenges, ISG Highlights

In an era marked by economic disruptions and cyber threats, global banking and financial services (BFS) firms are increasingly leaning on technology. Their goal? To bolster customer experience and navigate the tumultuous landscape, as outlined in a comprehensive report by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III).

The ISG TechXchange event, slated for September 19-20 in Paris, promises to be a deep dive into this evolving trend. It’s an exploration of how BFS institutions can harness data, automation, and AI to carve out a niche in a saturated market. The conference will feature a who’s who of the BFS world, with leaders from prominent banks and financial institutions, including Standard Chartered, Citi, Santander Germany, and Crédit Mutuel, sharing their insights.

Colas Truong, an ISG partner and the event’s host, emphasized the transformative role of technology, especially during the pandemic’s peak.

Agile use of technology enabled these institutions to navigate the pandemic and it is now enabling them to meet consumer demands for new digital assets, personalized services and security, while demonstrating their shared commitment to social values.”

Truong noted. Especially pertinent is the realm of digital assets, personalized services, and security. Truong’s data suggests a shift in consumer sentiment, with up to 10% considering a change in their banking relationships if they sense a lack of commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles.

But it’s not just about consumer demands. The backend of BFS operations, particularly cybersecurity, remains a paramount concern. An ISG study threw light on this, revealing that a significant 80% of BFS executives view emerging technologies, notably AI and machine learning, as top challenges. The rapid evolution of cyber threats, coupled with the integration of new tech, has made the BFS landscape a veritable minefield.

The event’s agenda is as diverse as it is rich. Discussions will span a range of topics, from the delicate balance between offering seamless customer experiences and ensuring robust security measures, to the potential and pitfalls of concepts like banking as a service and the metaverse. The future of banking, especially in the context of these emerging tech platforms, promises to be a highlight.

In a nod to innovation, startups like Welcome Place, Multiverse Computing, and Quandela will be in the spotlight, pitching their cutting-edge solutions to a discerning panel. Their innovations, which range from quantum computing to community-driven banking solutions, represent the BFS sector’s future.

The ISG TechXchange has garnered significant industry support. Major sponsors include industry stalwarts like Wipro, Accenture, and Cognizant. The event also boasts media partnerships with several outlets, ensuring a broad reach and diverse audience.

In conclusion, as BFS firms navigate the challenges and opportunities of the current landscape, technology emerges as the beacon, guiding them towards enhanced customer experiences and operational efficiencies. The ISG TechXchange promises to be a melting pot of ideas, innovations, and insights, shaping the BFS sector’s future.

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Digital Transformation in Finance and Accounting Accelerated by Pandemic, ISG Reports

Finance and accounting departments globally are undergoing a digital transformation, aiming to streamline and automate processes, as highlighted in the 2023 ISG Provider Lens™ global Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) Services report. The push for digitalization was notably accelerated by the COVID-19 lockdowns, which necessitated a shift from traditional methods to accommodate remote work requirements.

The research indicates a growing reliance on external providers to assist in formulating digital strategies. Robert Stapleton, a partner at ISG, mentioned, “Organizations are creating connected finance teams with the technology to collect and analyze larger data sets for long-term decision-making.” This technological empowerment has positioned CFOs to play more strategic roles within their organizations.

The report also sheds light on the challenges businesses face due to disruptions since the pandemic, such as inflation and supply-chain issues. To navigate these challenges, many are turning to new operational methods and technologies. Notably, there’s a surge in the adoption of tools like SAP S/4HANA, generative AI, blockchain, and the metaverse. Recognizing the potential vulnerabilities of integrating these new technologies, there’s an emphasized focus on bolstering cybersecurity measures.

A significant shift in the FAO sector is the preference for outcome-based contracts, where both risks and rewards of digital transformation are shared between companies and FAO providers. Jan Erik Aase, global leader at ISG Provider Lens Research, stated, “FAO providers are becoming strategic partners that collaborate with clients in addition to delivering services.”

Furthermore, the report explores the importance of global delivery models for FAO services and emphasizes the need for clear strategies surrounding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.

The comprehensive 2023 ISG Provider Lens™ report evaluates 28 providers across four key areas: Procure to Pay (P2P), Order to Cash (O2C), Record to Report (R2R), and Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A). Leading firms such as Accenture, Capgemini, and Cognizant have been recognized as leaders in all quadrants.

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