GDPR and Brexit have been at the heart of global domination in 2018 with trends such as data analytics, digitalisation and automation taking a backseat. This issues a call for change. This year, the focus will lay on technology, and businesses will have to look for new disruptive ways to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market.

Brickendon, a transformational consultancy specialising in financial services highlights the following trends that will dominate this year’s business agenda.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Embracing and utilising AI is crucial for businesses that are looking to innovate and grow. More and more businesses are adopting this technology and are already experiencing significant positive results. Data regulation has the potential to impact machine learning—but with smart implementation AI has the capability to significantly reduce costs, free-up internal resources and increase revenues.

Looking beyond data

While Data will continue to dominate, the emphasis on innovation is expected to increase. 2019 will see a move beyond decoding data, using analysis and understanding algorithms to provide context around predictions.

Chris Burke
CEO, Bricendon

Going forward, the key will be explainability and insight,  along with algorithms and technology that focus on solution-based production activities. As it stands, data science has numerous proof-of-concepts in silos, but the emphasis will now shift to how to turn those concepts into scalable solutions. Businesses will need to focus on developing sophisticated software house capabilities while they work towards meeting their goals.

The role of financial regulation

Mistakes and misconduct from financial institutions have prompted the need for many regulations to streamline processes, while some may argue that regulation as a whole has become somewhat excessive. However, it is important to understand that such regulations have also played a major role in bringing misconduct into the spotlight and businesses that evaded these regulations previously are now facing repercussions.

In order to work around regulations, businesses will have to look for innovative ways to adopt emerging technology. Offering updated core assets will not only give these brands first-hand advantage but also distinguish them from their competitors.

In 2019 the impact of regulators on the financial services sector is set to decrease, with the regulatory agenda taking on a more business-as-usual form and focusing on ongoing conduct. Regulators are expected to take a proactive approach and apply their experiences to some of the as-of-yet relatively untapped business areas.

Impact of Brexit on the business ecosystem

While the big question remains over whether there is progress being made in the overall context, Brexit will continue to dominate the agendas and minds of business on all sides of the Atlantic. The biggest risk to any business is uncertainty and the longer the process takes, the more likely it is for firms to look for jurisdictions where they can make long-term decisions with confidence. Businesses, especially those in financial services, should be not just be prepared for multiple scenarios and ongoing change, but also to survive any potential crisis caused by major uncertainties which may arise as a result of the Brexit verdict.  

Future of the workforce

With AI and machine learning revolutionising the way businesses operate, the workforce will go through enormous transition to prepare for the future. This year will see more automation through machine learning and robotics, changing the need in the workforce from repetitive and predictable tasks to more strategic and value-adding roles. This is not to say that we will see a significant reduction in the workforce with AI and robotic process automation (RPA), but there will be a proportion increase in expectations from customers, regulators and agents. As a result, 2019 may bring financial services and technology firms closer as they work in tandem to add more value to the service they provide.

2019what’s next?

While data analytics and regulation will continue to stay relevant in shaping the future of businesses in the UK, firms will have to do things differently and place innovation at their core to sustain growth and market position in the turbulent markets.

Precisely, how things will play out remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that businesses on the global front will have to embrace innovations to gain competitive advantage in the coming years.