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2021: Agility and collaboration will be the key
Michel André, CIO, Banking Circle
Michel Andre, Chief Information Officer at groundbreaking financial infrastructure provider, Banking Circle, considers the pivotal role information technology will play in helping the global economy bounceback in 2021.
“The last 12 months may have been cataclysmic for families, societies and the global economy. But they have also inspired innovation, collaboration and empathy, and that has to be good for society as a whole. I am especially excited – and proud – of how the community of information and technology innovators rose to the challenge of enabling life, in all its guises, to continue in the face of lockdown and isolation. From the mass move to home working and home schooling, to the connected communities of carers for those facing isolation, the agility of information technologists has been fundamental – and heart-warming.
“The next 12 months will be the proving ground of whether what was learnt in 2020 will truly create change for the better. In this context, how the global financial ecosystem has and will continue to respond to the challenges created by the pandemic will be pivotal. For financial services providers, the impact of the pandemic has been doubly challenging.
Indirectly as guarantors of the economic system the last 12 months have tested financial resilience. And directly, as providers to businesses and individuals, going forward financial institutions will need to remain strong in the face of a potentially slow recovery, all while addressing the challenge of the transformation of the industry and the wider economy.
There is no question that the last year has accelerated the pace of digital transformation – across many sectors. But the difference it has inspired in financial services has been phenomenal and it is now the responsibility of all those working in the sector to ensure that the positive changes already made are not lost. Indeed, the rise of the digital corporate bank – mirroring the digitalisation already delivered to personal customers – is certain to be a big focus in 2021.
Banks and financial institutions have provided a stable and trusted foundation through a largely instable period, giving businesses and individuals confidence and support when and where they need it. Now, as a new digital economy evolves, these same organisations can influence the shape of further change, building on the efficiencies identified in 2020 as well as tackling some of the hitherto unresolved challenges such as data security.
The reality is that the size of the challenge means one organisation cannot achieve the fundamental change that is already underway on its own. And that’s where the collaboration that has already been seen across a multitude of organisations in 2020 will come into its own. In particular, I believe that collaboration will be most effective where it is backed up by technology that enables agility.
In that respect Banking Circle, moving to a fully clouded platform in 2021, is well placed to support the financial institutions that have come to depend on us to underpin their services.
Collaboration will also see partners working together more closely for best-in-class solutions and outcomes. For example, think about AI. Data driven decision making has already been proven to deliver efficient and effective results. In 2021 I anticipate the application of AI will extend across a wider range of business processes. Indeed, our own use of AI as part of our anti money laundering (AML) processes has strengthened the rigour we can deliver to our Banks and Payments business clients.
There is no question that there is much that is still unclear about 2021; but what is crystal clear is that nothing is certain and, therefore, flexibility and agility underpinned by proven technology will be crucial.