The pace and scope of change in technology are accelerating. Everything from mobile adoption, processing power and broadband capacity to application design, hardware capability and data storage is evolving at an unprecedented rate.
Technology is enabling entrants to burst in traditional markets faster than ever before. Robo advisors, digital banks, P2P lending and payments made through an application can move from a startup to global market disruption in a couple of years. The wealth management equivalent of Uber and AirBnB is coming to the industry.
What will it look like? Nobody knows. But what is becoming more apparent is that retaining maximum strategic flexibility in order to adapt changing technology is critical.
Legacy systems, in-house platforms and applications that financial institutions built or acquired, will be significantly challenged to deliver this flexibility to constantly compete in this new technology arms race.
The evolution of strategy may have moved from building or buying core systems and technology, to renting cloud-based and agile technology from experienced vendors, as the best way to retain strategic flexibility and evolve fast enough to keep up with the ever-accelerating pace.