By Douglas Greenwell, Head of Commercial Strategy, Duco


There’s no denying that 2020 was a year of historic change for all businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic forced financial services to embrace digitisation on a scale never before seen, with a particular focus put on operational resilience. And while the mass exodus to home working highlighted some benefits of digitisation, the move also showed the inflexibility and inefficiency of current manual processes and existing data management systems.

In response, many firms were quick to harness the power of new technologies and intelligent platforms. These tools took pressure off legacy systems that were unable to adapt fast enough to meet new business needs. But in 2021, with digital transformation continuing to accelerate and CIOs increasingly being given more power to drive technology change across their organisations, Duco predicts that we will see the financial services industry further assess and upgrade the way it manages data.


These are the five trends we predict will play a pivotal role over the coming year and beyond.

  1. Demand for no-code applications will increase

Typically, the need to code data management systems means data insights are siloed to the IT departments. No-code technology, however, enables people to build the tools they need without technical experience. This allows firms to make data available to teams outside of the IT department, empowering them to glean their own insights and better equipping them to meet varying challenges. In 2021 the rise of no-code platforms will see a shift in the responsibility of data management, with the adoption of no-code solutions becoming commonplace as firms look to harness the clear benefits.


  1. Cloud systems will become integral to business

2021 will see a continued focus on cloud migrations as part of the acceleration of digital transformation. Remote working and a desire to break free of the confines of on-site technology helped to overcome previous barriers to cloud adoption. Now that the benefits of cloud-based solutions, such as quick setup and unlimited scalability have been demonstrated (and financial services come to realise that remote working is here to stay), migration to cloud-based systems will accelerate eventually becoming the norm.


  1. Flexible tools will handle more tasks

If the pandemic taught us anything, it was that everything can change overnight. No one is more aware of this entering 2021 than the CIO.

Technology can no longer just be functional; it has to be adaptable too. Looking forward, businesses will seek tools that can not only be implemented, understood and scaled quickly, but can also consolidate mission-critical functions. The ability to unify various areas of the business will streamline workflows and improve data quality, making financial services more capable of responding to rapid change.


  1. Machine learning will be desired

Machine learning already plays a vital part in making managing data easy for providers of cloud-based data integrity and reconciliation services and in 2021 this is set to accelerate even more. Machine learning enables teams to identify and fix data breaks quicker and with less manual labour, saving both time and money. Plus, cloud-based machine learning platforms can learn from the data of all companies using the system without compromising confidentiality. This means the system becomes more intelligent and able to deal with your business needs as more companies start to use it.

With data volumes growing rapidly, 2021 will be the year machine learning becomes a must-have feature, rather than an optional extra.


  1. Rapid deployment will become commonplace

The pandemic gave CIOs a renewed focus on the importance of speed; they need technology that can be installed, understood and most importantly deliver business value quickly. In response to this, no-code cloud-based systems will continue to increase in appeal to CIOs because of their ability to be rapidly deployed. For example, there are systems that can be fully operational within 24 hours, enabling financial services to respond quickly to the ever-evolving financial landscape.

Overall, 2021 will see financial services companies shift their approach from a reactive to a proactive one. There will be a renewed focused on data management for operational automation, as firms recognise the untapped potential of frictionless data sets that unlock efficiencies and insights. This will take the form of investment in flexible, scalable systems, with firms wanting solutions that adapt quickly to business needs.



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