As we discussed in previous posts, the Accenture Technology Vision 2016 report emphasizes the importance of people in the digital era. Based on this idea and the results from a global survey of more than 3,100 IT and business executives, Accenture identified five emerging technology trends that will shape the new digital landscape in the next three to five years. Today, we’re taking a closer look at each idea to understand what it means for capital markets.

1. Intelligent automation

By 2020, the EMC Digital Universe Study predicts that there will be more than 44 zettabytes of data—35 percent of which will be useful for analysis and information insight. In parallel, the cost of data storage is falling, cloud computing power is expanding, and artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing in leaps and bounds. As a result, intelligent automation is both more necessary and more accessible than ever before.

In the capital markets industry, we’re already seeing natural language processing (NLP) being used for fraud detection, and robo-advice services recommending and executing basic investments based on client questionnaires.

2. Liquid workforce

The world and workforce are changing rapidly. Markets have become more global in nature, making borders increasingly arbitrary in many cases. Capital markets firms are no longer bound by the “market hours” that have dictated many workforce processes in the past. Within 10 years, Accenture predicts that there will be a Global 2000 company with no full-time employees outside of the C-Suite.

As the workforce becomes more liquid, businesses must become more fluid and flexible in order to attract top talent and see the benefits of productivity optimization. How? By making continual learning a core competency, by using technology to unite internal and external talent on a project-by-project basis, and by developing insightful analytics that provide a real-time view of the organization’s capabilities.

3.The platform economy

Digital-born organizations (DBOs) like Amazon, Google and Alibaba owe much of their success to the technology platforms they’ve built and the business models these platforms enable—and now digital leaders across industries are taking notice. Eighty-one percent of executives we surveyed said platform-based business models will be core to their growth strategies within three years. Leading edge capital markets players have started the process of platform based business models in the context of their wealth and asset management functions. However, these capabilities will need to be expanded across the enterprise in order to create competitive advantage.

4. Predictable disruption

Eighty-two percent of the executives we surveyed said industry boundaries are being erased and new paradigms are emerging. As more companies build or collaborate on digital platforms, new ecosystems are rising up around them and setting the stage for the next wave of technological and economic disruption. In the context of financial services, one of the early impacts of this disruption is being felt through the rise of ‘shadow banking’.  New services and business models are emerging which threaten incumbent models.

5. Digital trust

Eighty-three percent of the executives we surveyed agreed that trust is the cornerstone of the digital economy. That trust is built on two elements: digital ethics (which includes factors like informed consent and transparency) and cyber security (which includes factors like application security, governance and compliance).

In a data-dependent industry like capital markets, digital trust is everything. That’s why we’re seeing more firms using tools like voice biometrics, social log-ins, and risk- and content-based identification to help protect client data during customer service interactions.

Get up to speed

If you’re an innovator, it’s an exciting time to be in the capital markets industry. If you find your firm is lagging, it’s time to make changes. Please visit the Accenture Technology Vision 2016 website to download the trend reports, where you’ll find our 100-day and 365-day plans to help you get started.

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