Based on the 2019 CGI Client Global Insights, capital market firms are making the largest IT investments, compared to their peers in other banking sectors, as they seek to protect customers, get more value from massive amounts of data, and simplify operations. These firms also are striving to gain specialized skills and retain the digital talent they need to grow and run the business. Overall, they want to improve operational performance, and with their high IT investment, we see them poised to gain the most from digital transformation.

In 2019, CGI leaders met face-to-face with 69 executives within capital markets - on both the business and technology sides - for in-depth interviews on their top trends and priorities. We summarize the findings and insights from these discussions in the CGI Client Global Insights capital markets report. In this blog, I share key highlights as capital market firms execute their strategies and plans for 2020.

Protecting and leveraging data continue as most impactful trends

Top trends cited by capital market executives for 2019 were the same as the previous year, and in the same order. Protecting client data through cybersecurity remained the most impactful trend, followed by the growing use of advanced analytics, automation and new technologies. The trends of business model innovation, stricter compliance and increasing customer expectations for digital services were third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Although protecting the organization from cyber threats along with regulatory compliance continue to be of critical importance, both may be perceived by some as more hygiene or “business as usual” activities that must be performed. Data, on the other hand, lies at the heart of their strategic plans - viewed as a key way to improve both margins and revenue streams through increased automation and by unlocking customer and proprietary value. This is evident with both data protection and data analytics continuing as the top industry trends.

Despite their status as digital leaders, capital market executives agree they need to better leverage innovation to support new business models to stay ahead, as well as to develop new products and services. In fact, globally, 30% of executives cite innovation as their top investment priority.

Business priorities align with trends; talent acquisition rises as IT priority

In line with their top cited trends, capital market executives cited data, control and protection as their most important business priorities. Protection ranked most important, followed by using data to run, control and grow the business. Demonstrating control to regulators and clients also rose to third most important, up from fifth in 2018.

On the IT side, simplifying technology and adopting new delivery models remained the top IT priority for 2019, year-over-year, while acquiring talent and building the right culture rose from fourth in 2018 to second last year, displacing accelerating the build-out of next generation data analytics. Complying with regulation and ensuring sufficient control of the business and its compliance continued as third most important.

After attracting and retaining the right people, the biggest skill challenges cited by executives were digital customer experience, closely followed by data analytics. We see the data skill challenge getting more difficult as the years progress. In the past, capital market firms were the place to work if you were a high-performing data scientist. However, with the emphasis on data in all industries, the proliferation of large data-driven technology giants, and more innovative, smaller FinTechs, this employment trend no longer is the case. Capital market players need to address their culture and the way they present themselves to attract these high-caliber individuals.

Learn more about our findings

Our CGI Client Global Insights report for capital market firms covers many other key topics, including their digital maturity, cloud usage, IT and innovation spending, and progress toward becoming an IT leader in their industry. We also offer a global report, along with reports that cover each of our focused industries. I invite you to request a free copy of our capital markets report and to contact me for further discussion.

About this author

Andy Schmidt

Andy Schmidt

Vice President & Global Industry Lead for Banking

Andy Schmidt is a former banker and industry analyst who currently helps drive CGI’s strategy across our financial services vertical. Andy has more than 25 years of financial services experience as a banker at Bank of America, a consultant at Ernst & Young and an ...

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