Speaking at the IoT Tech Expo Global, Agata Grela, Digital Strategy Leader at RBS International, discussed how emerging technologies are driving sweeping change in the financial sector as firms undertake digital transformation initiatives.
Grela emphasised the importance of understanding and experimenting with emerging technologies to drive meaningful products and services for financial clients. The focus was on creating future-proof, agile, and resilient organisations capable of adapting to societal shifts and technological changes.
“We’re starting to think about [these technologies] to experiment with and to innovate with, where we see real potential for financial clients in terms of driving meaningful products and services, in terms of actually future proofing our clients to be more resilient with shifts and changes,” said Grela about the bank’s tech strategy.
In particular, Grela highlighted the game-changing potential of the IoT and AI. Integrating real-time IoT data streams can provide greater visibility into client assets. “By being able to provide a contextual anchor to data…you’re then being able to make sense of it,” she explained.
Addressing the apparent dichotomy between financial services and IoT, Grela highlighted opportunities in tracking and monitoring clients’ assets, offering contextual insights, and providing specific advice. The potential for IoT to drive rapid innovation within organisations was also explored.
Meanwhile, AI systems can optimise processes and uncover insights from vast datasets. However, Grela urged examining such technologies thoughtfully. “It doesn’t have an ethical and moral framework or guidelines…How do we really instil that?” she asked rhetorically.
Grela delved into the realm of generative AI, particularly focusing on ChatGPT. While acknowledging its ability to process vast amounts of data and provide insights, she cautioned that it lacks inherent future-thinking capabilities.
Guiding the development of emerging tech is critical for financial institutions. As accelerating technological change impacts the finance industry, firms must continually adapt as well.
“It’s really going to be about a continuous improvement and continuous adoption of these new technologies and a continuous assessment as to how we can use them where and when,” said Grela about digital transformation.
Grela advocated that finance professionals develop “future-ready” skills like systems thinking to holistically understand implications. She also discussed the importance of simplifying the understanding of new technologies for colleagues and customers—including the integration of technologies into everyday experiences, making them accessible and tailored to individuals’ unique roles.
“What’s really going to create digital transformation and effective long term future proof transformation is understanding how all of that works together,” Grela noted.
With emerging technologies still rapidly evolving themselves, financial institutions have an opportunity to harness potential benefits while proactively addressing risks.
“What we’re really thinking about is first, what is the purpose of this technology? How can we bring everyone on the journey together?” concluded Grela.
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