IT priorities for banks in a fast-moving landscape


Banks and fintechs face new challenges as open banking and the rise of AI demand new thinking on how to spend IT budgets

As banks become 24/7 online businesses, it is important to understand the technology trends shaping this sector. How are banks adapting to emerging technologies, and what is driving their decisions?

Within the constraints of budget allocations and cost-efficiencies, what portion of banks’ expenditure is dedicated to technology adoption? Research from the Infosys Knowledge Institute for the first edition of the Infosys Bank Tech Index has identified three key trends impacting banks:

  1.  Regulatory compliance, cybersecurity, open banking, and cloud computing are the top IT imperatives for banks. Despite the emergence of AI as the groundbreaking technology, banks are still experimenting and have yet to make substantial inroads in this domain.
  2. Banks are planning to boost the recruitment of technology personnel, with more than half the banks surveyed planning to increase the hiring of tech expertise between 5% and 10% in the next quarter.
  3. Despite dedicated efforts, banks continue to struggle meeting their technology deployment goals.

Amid intensified demand for digital-first services, marked by personalization, automation and seamless multi-channel integration, banks continue to focus on ecosystem integration and are making significant investment in open banking and APIs.

Our research found that North American banks are leading in this space, spending 20% of their tech budget on open banking, with banks in Europe planning to allocate 17% of their tech budgets, and banks in APAC are set to spend 15% of their tech budgets on open banking.

However, it is AI that is driving the biggest transformation of industries all around the world. For banks, a swift adoption of AI is no longer an option but a mandate. While behemoths such as JPMorgan see AI generating business value of $1.5 billion, our research found that spend on AI seems to still be only a small proportion of budget. Despite this relatively smaller spending, another study has found that the financial services sector is creating value with generative AI in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region, and financial services businesses in Europe and in North America are similarly developing use cases that create business value.

“The growing technological needs have created a high demand for technology experts. Banks worldwide are looking to increase their full-time technology staff by between 5% and 10% in upcoming quarter, with the APAC banks set to grow the fastest at 8%, followed by North America at 3.5%, and Europe at 2.9%.”

However, finding the right skills remains a critical challenge. Recruiters indicate that it is the most challenging to find experts in AI. To address this issue, banks are retraining and reskilling their workforce and introducing initiatives like pay transparency and role parity for retaining top talent.

Banks face numerous challenges in adopting technology. Budgets are continually shrinking and slow economic growth looms. Yet it is crucial not to reduce spending on technology: Gartner’s research reveals that companies that slashed technology budgets in the 2008 financial crisis struggled to keep pace with their competitors.

In summary, while cloud enablement plays a pivotal role in modernizing banking systems, and open banking is here to stay, regulatory compliance and cybersecurity remains a critical focus for banks. As data accumulates, the Infosys Bank Tech Index aims to offer a dynamic perspective on emerging trends to assist senior bank executives to make well-informed decisions regarding technology adaptation.

About Author

Puneet Mody is the executive sponsor for Global Commercial Banking COE and has partnered with CXOs in multiple industry transformations. He is helping client navigate world of fintechs, big tech and ecosystem banking. Puneet is also an avid champion of emerging technologies and has led adoption of Digital, Cloud and now enabling AI in the FS industry.



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