Business Systems’ Will Davenport on what financial services firms can expect in 2020…
What does the future hold for the City? I don’t have a tardis, but we anticipate more regulatory pressure, more financial penalties, the formal incorporation of Voice as an equal form of information storage to email, text or internal documentation, and the appearance of a heavyweight enterprise IT information governance discipline.
The discipline in question is EIM (Enterprise Information Management). This is an approach centred on integrating all organisational data into one structure, and having the required functionality to manage, replay and extract whilst applying the appropriate and legal archiving and retrieval workflows across everything the firm does.
The next focus for EIM in 2020 is the inclusion of Voice. A singular legal case at the end of last year highlights why – namely, the £14.5m fine levied on financial services firm Tullet Prebon. The regulator judged that the firm had fallen short in the proper storage and access to Voice records.
The case shows that the FCA now includes Voice as a recording medium, and is no longer prepared to tolerate delays in locating conversations it is examining. That’s not happened to date because Voice has historically been an unstructured and fairly unwieldy medium, but modern Voice technology, allied to EIM, has radically altered that picture.
2020 continues to be cloud-centric
In parallel, the ascendency of cloud over on-premise tech will continue apace throughout 2020, and there’s going to be a move to use cloud as a way to centralise the bank’s IT systems and reduce management overheads. Clearly, the argument as to whether cloud infrastructure is secure has finally been settled. People are happy as consumers and employees, to use applications in the cloud or to store data there. The fear factor has almost disappeared and City CIOs now judge cloud as often safer than their on-premise solution.
Cloud represents a whole new approach to consuming IT and building apps in the Square Mile. Financial services firms are frustrated with devoting too much resource to old mainframe systems and expensive hardware that requires endless tending, patching and upgrading when they know there’s modern technology infrastructure in place to support them in being more agile.
In 2020 and beyond, cloud trading turrets will become increasingly prevalent with functionality that banks require around the voice records e.g. Legal holds and bulk extracts etc. The move to the cloud will prompt some fairly overdue rationalisation and integration work for financial services firms with multiple and legacy platforms in place — which would be liberating for the sector generally.
Voice is in the ascendency
Finally, more and more firms are going to start to look at Speech Analytics technology in the voice sphere. That’s because the underlying technology has become so much smarter, and is now able to uncover insight hidden in audio files. All those expensive hours of manual transcription are now a legacy, and Voice can be processed in ways that make what was originally unstructured data into structured data, which can be queried in order to spot any risks and opportunities.
Using modern Speech Analytics means financial services firms will finally gain a richer understanding of their traders and customers, with transcription, sentiment analysis and reporting software that can be run across thousands of voice interactions. At the same time, trading floor managers will have a better set of tools at their disposal to understand how to best meet their clients’ needs and to keep the regulators at bay.
Voice will be a big focus for financial services CIO’s this year and into the next decade, as it’s such a flexible medium, and one that holds a great deal of business intelligence.
Will Davenport is a director at Business Systems (UK) Ltd, a specialist for 30 years in providing call recording management and workforce optimisation solutions for investment banks, city trading floors and insurance companies.