Future-Proofing the Industry

By Tim Lang, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at MicroStrategy

Tim Lang, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at MicroStrategy

How has your IT operating model changed during the last five years?

MicroStrategy works side-by-side with our customers in the banking and financial industry to identify their unique pain points to better evolve our platform. Our customers compete in a saturated market, and we deliver their competitive edge in the form of an agile platform that is as powerful as it is secure.

We refined our analytics offerings and deployed customized, data-driven mobile applications that meet banks’ complex and varied needs. This provides the insight they require toeffectively reduce costs, drive revenue, improve the customer experience, and manage risk and regulatory requirements.

What does Analytics mean for banking and other financialinstitutions?

Analytics touches all facets of a banking institution, and mobile applications are the primary vehicle delivering insights to employees at all levels. They provide the real-time information needed to make informed decisions in an industry where seconds matter.

"Successful technology leaders require a pointed focus on tools and platforms to make sense of complex sets of data"

For accounting and finance functions, apps streamline enterprise performance management and financial reporting processes, so key personnel have consistent access to the critical data needed to run their business. In asset management and servicing, mobile apps provide wealth advisors with powerful analytics and real-time insights into markets and portfolios, so they can deliver superior performance and service to clients. In retail, customer and business banking, BI apps arm branch managers and employees with data to help analyze performance, better understand their customer base, and identify cross-sell opportunities to improve profitability.

Analytics also play a key risk management role in the ever-evolving regulatory requirements of the banking industry. We are seeing banks consolidate the number of analytics tools they use, so they can reduce their technology support staff while enabling the end user with on-demand analytics, available wheneverthey’re needed.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles that technologists face when it comes to banking analytics?

We live in an era of unprecedented economic, regulatory, and technological challenges in the banking industry. Economic conditions are volatile. Low interest rates have impacted profitability. Regulatory requirements continue to increase scope and complexity, heavily influencing bank operating costs associated with compliance.Now, more than ever, decisionmakers must be sure their technologyinvestments pay off—including their business intelligence solution.

Institutions that capitalize on new analytics technology see returns in increased efficiency, visibility, and streamlined management processes.Exploiting the explosive growth of mobile devices can help make financial information and investment tools readily available, but only 41 percent of banks use predictive analytics and visualizations to turn big data into actionable insights.

What set of skills do you think is required for the technology leaders to be successful in banking and other financial institutions?

An understanding of the business intelligence landscape is necessary for any technology decisionmaker and strategysetter. As a global society, we generate data faster than ever before, and the banking sector is at the forefront of this proliferation. Successful technology leaders require a pointed focus on tools and platforms to make sense of complex sets of data.

Which growing or future technology innovation are you personally excited about?

At MicroStrategy, we still see a lot of room for growth with Big Datain the industry. Financial Services companies are constantlylooking for ways to capture more information, in pursuit of a more complete understanding of their customers. Big Data provides this 360-degree view. It also allows organizations to better protect themselves from fraud and anti-money laundering, more effectively managing all areas of risk.

We’re also excited to see the continued growth of mobility applications. To date, the efficiency created with mobile analytics that can be deployed anywhere–from corporate BI to client-facing dashboards– cannot be ignored. Mobile capabilities must continue evolving to keep up with the exponential growth of data in new forms yet to come. In this respect, we’re working to make sure our own platform leads the charge.

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