Resource Centre

THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMING OPERATIONS IN CAPITAL MARKETS

Operations is well past due a transformation – not that firms haven’t been trying for years. But technology innovations and different business priorities have unblocked the path to transformation. Firms are able to change their legacy, swapping outdated technology, slow and risky spreadsheets and inagile cross-functional methods of working with fast, flexible data automation.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE CLOUD
AND SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE (SAAS)?

The cloud fundamentally changes how firms deploy and use technology. It makes it more accessible, more affordable and more user-friendly.

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For starters, all the effort and maintenance involved in hosting software is taken off your plate. It’s the cloud provider’s responsibility to own and run the tech. For firms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) this is their whole business, so you can be sure that they have more resources and knowledge, and the best tech.

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Secondly, cloud platforms can be deployed much more quickly and easily than on-premise systems. While there are still of course a lot of moving parts, like information security reviews, the actual platform itself can go live in a matter of hours once the contract is signed.

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Thirdly, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model makes it possible for you to enjoy the most up to date version of your software as standard. Updates can be deployed across the customer base at regular intervals. This means everything from minor bug fixes and security updates all the way up to entirely new features and capabilities are delivered rapidly.

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Living on the cloud makes your platform much more accessible for teams across the globe. It becomes easier easier to create a standardised and transparent operating model, as everyone can use the same system system, workflow and best practices.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF THE CLOUD

Did you know that moving to the cloud can also slash your carbon emissions?

We measured our largest customer’s emissions before and after they migrated to AWS. The result was an emissions drop of up to 80% compared to on-premise technology. Find out more about it here.

WHAT IS NO-CODE TECHNOLOGY?

‘No-code’ technology covers everything from drag-and-drop interfaces to the ability to use dropdown menus to build processes using natural language. What all of these tools have in common is that they empower the end-user to build the processes or applications they need to achieve their goals.

This allows firms to ditch outdated and inefficient ways of working, such as managing every single change with business requirements documents.

No-code technology creates a more independent and responsive team, able to utilise their full expertise to build the processes they need around data.

Some worry about the risk of this, but governance and control is a core part of a data automation platform. Granular permissioning, sandbox testing environments, four-eye checks and access controls all mean that, while they are free to build their own automation, your teams are working within a compliant, auditable framework.

This way of working is better for business-users, because they can use the technology they have to work with. It improves their work life because they have more control and autonomy, instead of waiting around for other teams to work through their backlog. And it’s better for IT, who free up their precious developer resources to focus on more important tasks.

WHAT IS ADAPTIVE INTELLIGENT DOCUMENT PROCESSING?

Numerous AI applications abound in today’s technology landscape, yet not all deliver meaningful value and most serve just as a gimmick.

Amidst this sea of options, AIDP stands out as a practical tool designed to intelligently decipher and act upon the processing of documents and emails.

Its real-world proven impact distinguishes it from the multitude of less effective AI applications.

The biggest blocker to full data automation in financial services is that the majority of the data firms use is in formats that their technology simply can’t access. Information in PDFs, faxes, emails, images and so on has to be extracted and keyed into systems manually.

The advent of OCR (optical character recognition) technology decades ago helped to make this data more accessible. These platforms were able to recognise handwritten and printed text, so they could extract the necessary information and convert it into structured data.

However, the drawback of OCR is that it has to be ‘pointed’ at the relevant parts of the document. This means documents must be structured and laid out in the same way, otherwise the OCR tool will be looking for data in the wrong place, and obviously won’t find what it’s supposed to. For some document types this isn’t a problem, as they’re highly standardised. But others have no set format and can vary greatly, making OCR of little use.

Adaptive Intelligent Document Processing (AIDP) solves that problem by harnessing AI technologies such as machine learning, machine vision and Natural Language Processing (NLP). These are used to train a computer to simulate a human subject matter expert’s review of a set of documents.

An adaptive IDP platform is therefore able to figure out where in a document the relevant information is and then extract that data.

AIDP dramatically improves document processing speeds and frees up the team members that would otherwise have to review each document manually.

HOW TECHNOLOGY IS REDEFINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OPERATIONS AND IT SO EVERYBODY WINS

The current structure of most capital markets firms leaves Operations highly dependant on IT. The legacy approach to change management and the inoperability of highly-technical on-premises technology places the support and maintenance burden of operations technology on the IT team.

This reduces the capacity of Operations to be agile and respond quickly to the business needs. IT is, in this scenario, a blocker for Operations. Meanwhile, IT has far more important priorities to focus on than changes to data quality processes, so the requests from Operations stretch their limited resources thin.

Leading firms are already exploring better ways of working. They’ve recognised that the barriers between Operations and IT are now arbitrary.

A new operating model is emerging: one where Operations and IT are both closer together and also more independent of each other.

Operations can now be empowered with no-code, self-service data automation solutions. This removes the need for IT to build or change data controls, because these systems don’t require technical expertise to operate. This increases the agility of operations and removes a significant burden from IT. Everybody wins.

Yet some firms are looking to rethink this relationship further. The siloed nature of capital markets firms has caused all kinds of issues and industry leaders want to unlock greater transparency and insight across their entire organisation.

This is leading to the dissolution of rigid vertical functions like Ops and IT. Instead, these organisations are recognising that things like technical skills and business knowledge are valuable to all departments. Essentially, firms are increasingly recognising the value that knowledge can bring to all areas of the business, and working to spread this out across their organisations.