By any measure, 2021 corporate planning isn’t business as usual. As the coronavirus pandemic grinds on, financial services institutions are coming out of crisis mode— addressing immediate cash management and operational challenges—with a renewed readiness for business growth.

Fortunately, most businesses across industries are doing a good job of navigating the pandemic and its economic fallout. According to a survey conducted by MIT Technology Review Insights, in association with Oracle, 80% of executives feel upbeat about their companies’ ultimate objectives for 2021. They’re either expecting to thrive—that is, sell more products and services—or change the way they do business. The worldwide research surveyed 297 executives in more than a dozen industries, primarily finance directors, C-suite, and information technology (IT) leaders. Forty-four, or or 15%, of the execu-tives work at banks or other financial services institutions.

That 15% is a bold bunch—93% of them have over the past year made at least one big business move, overhauling tech infrastructure, for example, or acquiring or merging with another company—and nearly 80% will change the way they do business, by pivoting to new markets or focusing on better customer experiences.

More motivated than ever, organizations in all industries are ready to cut expenses that lack a clear return on investment. So it’s no surprise that survey respondents highlight computing projects—all highly measurable— as priorities in their 2021 plans. Among financial services institutions, 62% are looking to ramp up tech investments, and another 62% expect to move IT and business functions to the cloud, compared with 46% across industries. In a recent report, Nucleus Research found that cloud deployments deliver four times the return on investment as on-premises deployments do.

Planning beyond the pandemic

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is an exemplar of a progressive cloud adopter—it’s now moving many of its core financial systems to the cloud. The insurer was motivated to do so—an internal study had found several opportunities, including insufficient data management, a need for lower-level data for better analytics, a lack of system integration, and manual reconciliation issues. “These pain points helped create the need for a new system,” says Marcel Esqueu, assistant vice

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By: MIT Technology Review Insights
Title: New business models, big opportunity: Financial services
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Published Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2021 14:00:00 +0000




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