The financial services industry is not ready for the AI revolution, new study finds

We hear a lot about the potential of AI as the next great leap in technological innovation, but what have the front runners of the financial sectors done to prepare for this?

A survey conducted by Digital Realty has found that over one-third of IT decision makers in the UK’s largest financial services companies believe that AI will transform the industry in the next decade. However, the same percentage admit that their infrastructure is not prepared for the transformation.

So, what have industry decision makers been doing to prepare for the arrival of AI?

Val Walsh, senior vice president, Portfolio Management at Digital Realty says, fundamentally, not enough: “The financial services industry is set to see some astonishing technological growth, and our new research demonstrates that companies in the sector are still underprepared for what’s to come.”

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The benefits of AI seem to be huge, making businesses faster and cheaper to operate. The technology will create new opportunities and add an estimated £10 trillion to global economic activity by 2030.

So why hasn’t there been a concerted effort to prepare for the arrival of this new tech?

Digital Realty provides an answer. They found that 40% of IT leaders felt their ability to prepare their businesses for these new technologies is restrained by budget and 31% saw the issue with legacy infrastructure.

The survey highlighted that across the UK, businesses need to invest a total of £11.4 billion to be ready for these new technologies.

“Technology like AI will greatly benefit the industry, but companies can only experience the full benefits of the technological revolution if their infrastructure is able to support these technologies,” said Walsh.

To seize these opportunities, businesses will need to meet new processing and interconnectivity demands. Especially, as financial institutions are increasingly looking to AI to aid customer communication, predictive analytics, trade processing and intelligent investment solutions.

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The challenge of adapting to a new AI world is leading the financial industry towards cloud and data centre partners. Why? For the purpose-built infrastructure, rapid low-cost interconnection and simple management of these complex data environments that can underpin their AI ambitions.

“Key decision makers need to put infrastructure investment high on their agenda as the future is becoming increasingly data-led,” Walsh added.

If companies aren’t already investing in their own infrastructure, where should they be looking for help? Walsh recommends going to specialists who are well worth the asking price: “Whilst there is an initial financial sacrifice, financial services firms can expect to see a healthy return on their investment in the long-term, and they should look to data centers and providers for their infrastructure upgrade.”

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