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TECHNOLOGY AND INDUSTRY LEADERS CALL TO ORCHESTRATE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Today Nikolai Astrup, Norway’s Minister of Digitalization, opened the Ignite Conference in Oslo. For the next two days, more than 800 technology and asset-intensive industry leaders will discuss, amongst other topics, cybersecurity, data liberation, digital transformation and artificial intelligence on the road to digitalizing industries. The conference is supported by companies such as Cognizant, Google, Framo, Siemens, National Instruments and Aker BP.
 
“The Norwegian government just launched an ambitious digitalization strategy, making us a pioneer in creating good public services for citizens, businesses and the voluntary sector. Data is gold. If we refine, manage and share data appropriately it will lay the foundation for better and more effective public services, new industry successes and create jobs,” said Nikolai Astrup, Minister of Digitalization of Norway, in his opening remarks.
 
“To improve operational performance, industries need to embrace digital solutions. Digital transformation in asset-intensive industries will improve access to information in real-time, transparency and improve decision making. Given the complexities of the existing systems, the Fourth Industrial Revolution requires that technology and industry experts work together from the beginning. Ignite is the perfect platform to spark these connections and share learnings necessary to succeed with this transition,” says John Markus Lervik, CEO, Cognite. 
 
Ignite will host several industry leading speakers and experts including Darryl Willis, Vice President Oil, Gas & Energy, Google Cloud; Øyvind Eriksen, Chief Executive Officer, Aker ASA; Torbjørn Folgerø, Senior Vice President & Chief Digital Officer, Equinor; John W. Gibson, Chairman, Tudo, Pickering, Holt & Co; Jan Eyvin Wang, Chairman of the Board, WWH; Ann-Christin Andersen, Chief Digital Officer, TechnipFMC, amongst others. The full list of speakers is available here.

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DATA-DRIVEN BUSINESS OPERATIONS ARE A MULTI-YEAR PLAN FOR TWO-THIRDS OF FINANCE PROFESSIONALS

Data-driven business operations are a multi-year plan for two-thirds of finance professionals (66%). Only 7% think their own organisation is already data-driven, while 14% think they will achieve this within a year, with 43% expecting to become data-driven within two to three years. However, almost a quarter of organisations (24%) see this as taking more than four years, according to the latest findings from Onguard’s annual FinTech Barometer.

 

Combining and integrating data

Companies that want to become data-driven face limitations. The FinTech Barometer has identified the biggest challenge as being combining data from a variety of internal and external sources (40%). This combining of data is key, as it can be used to make predictions, in terms of credit scoring, payment behaviour and cash flow, for example, and to guide companies as to how best to respond to them. Although organisations have sufficient data, by not being able to combine it, they are not currently gaining optimum value from it. In addition, 31% lack the right technology to make data optimally available within their organisations. Therefore, integrating systems, such as a CRM system, as well as external data sources and the credit management system, likely proves to be a difficult task in practice.

 

Developing skills and expertise

A further challenge to organisations becoming data-driven is the lack of expertise in data processes and analysis (36%). The role of the finance professional is evolving in response to the growing demand within the financial world for different skills. According to the finance professionals, organisations most need analytical ability (59%), communication skills (37%) and programming skills (36%) in order to become data-driven. In addition, the knowledge and skills traditionally associated with finance professionals also remain crucial to interpret figures. Therefore, training current staff and recruiting new talent to specialise in the field of data analysis will help organisations gain the wealth of skills and experience needed to become data-driven.

Marieke Saeij, CEO, Onguard said: “Data-driven finance departments are the future. Data-driven organisations make better decisions, get ahead of competitors and have more satisfied customers. Based on insights gained from data, customer interactions can be personalised and there is room for innovation. Furthermore, becoming data-driven will increase efficiency and provide the insight needed to lower the Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) and improve the cash flow.”

 

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FINASTRA GLOBAL SURVEY SHOWS APPETITE FOR OPEN BANKING PICKING UP PACE WORLDWIDE

  • 86% of global banks surveyed are looking to use open APIs to enable Open Banking capabilities in the next 12 months
  • Banks believe regulators are stifling innovation: almost half (48%) believe ‘regulation is too tight’ and that there is ‘not enough government or industry support to foster innovation’

Finastra research reveals that 86% of global banks are looking to use open APIs to enable Open Banking capabilities in the next 12 months. In addition, 30% of banks surveyed believe Open Banking is already making a tangible impact in delivering improved overall customer experience. This is against a backdrop where regulation is perceived to be tighter than a year ago and close to half (48%) of those audited believe that regulators are holding back innovation.

The research, which was conducted prior to the Coronavirus outbreak amongst 774 financial institutions and banks across the US, UK, Singapore, France, Germany, Hong Kong and UAE1, shows a maturity of API adoption and calls for the harmonization of regulations between geographies.

Key findings include:

  • Open banking is on the up in 2020 compared to 20192: The percentage of financial institutions looking to leverage open APIs has substantially increased in the US (+23%) and UK (+17%), while Singapore (+1%), France (-1%) and Germany (-4%) are relatively stagnant since our research in 2019.
  • Improvements in the overall customer experience accelerate API adoption: the US (45%), Hong Kong (42%) and France (36%) are leading the way in harvesting this benefit of Open APIs (UAE: 32%; Germany: 20%; Singapore: 20%; UK: 19%). Overall, 41% of global banks say that they are ‘still in the early stages of adoption’, so it’s difficult to measure the impact of Open Banking on their business so far.
  • Regulation is perceived to be tighter than a year ago and industry or government support is required to foster innovation: Almost half of those audited believe that regulations are holding back innovation. 48% state that ‘regulation is too tight’ – 10% more than 2019 – and the same percentage (48%) believe there is ‘not enough government or industry support to foster innovation’, particularly so in Hong Kong (62%), France (50%) and Singapore (49%), compared to 38% in the UK.
  • A call for harmonization: 83% of financial institutions and banks agree that regulations regarding fintech innovation should be harmonized across different geographies.
  • Cost of fintech research and development is of concern in some regions: Cost of R&D in the US, UAE and APAC regions is highlighted, more so than in the UK. (USA: 55%; Hong Kong: 55%; Singapore: 51%; UAE: 46%; France: 43%; Germany: 34%; UK: 33%).

 

Simon Paris, CEO at Finastra said, “It’s encouraging to see Open Banking maturing on a global scale, but it’s still seen by many to be in its teenage years, with scope for creating even greater opportunities. We believe it will be the first step towards Open Finance which will see the next wave of innovation in financial services being created through collaboration on open platforms, like FusionFabric.cloud, using open APIs and open software solutions.

“Currently banks and technology vendors are rightly focused on business continuity and keeping their workforces safe. We’ve also seen many of these firms moving with amazing pace to bring innovative solutions to market, with the help of technology, to support customers in this new environment. As we come through this situation together, we must endeavor to emerge stronger, and it will be interesting to see how Open Banking and collaboration accelerate when this outbreak ends.”

 

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