Indeed, it seems we are in the fourth industrial revolution where convergence of the physical and cybernetic worlds is propelling innovation and disruption of traditional business models. As a financial services headhunter, I have a vested interest in looking at where this is taking us; will banks and other financial institutions survive?
Investment in financial services technology (FinTech) is in the tens of billions of pounds - with China and the US being the biggest investors - sending a clear signal that financial services disruption is well under way. Established players are not ignorant of this and have begun taking bold steps to engage with innovators. Digital disruption has the potential to significantly reduce the role and relevant of today's banks whilst also providing them opportunities to create better, faster and cheaper products and services.
Artificial intelligence (AI) hints at what many believe will be the robot revolution. Voice activated assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, open up huge possibilities for customer engagement. The use of machine learning and data analytics augment these possibilities whilst taking on previously human tasks.
Blockchain technologies are fascinating and I am watching with interest how this space develops – some believe it will change the world and have some good arguments to justify their beliefs (Netflix’s ‘Banking on Bitcoin’ is a good watch) although many believe this has passed the peak of inflated expectations to a stage of disillusionment. That said, some of the world’s biggest technology firms (e.g. IBM and SecureKey) and banking organisations (e.g. Deutsche Bank and HSBC) continue to invest in developing blockchain technologies.
Cyber security is a primary area of concern, regularly featuring at the top of boardroom agendas. Several experts believe that within the next few years, there will be a major cyber security black swan event in the next few years, which could have equivalent impact to the financial crisis of 2008.
There are numerous other areas that could be addressed here - and will be - but some of the other articles found on this site begin this process.