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Next-generation data platforms: the key to innovation in financial services

Data has become one of the most valuable currencies in business today, but too often legacy technology that still underpins many organisations is not built to support the amount, diversity or speed of it. Not only is this infrastructure costly and complex, it doesn’t support the diversity of workloads and functions that modern applications require. What is needed is an integrated data platform that offers a seamless developer experience, runs anywhere, and scales to meet growing business needs. 

But what impact are legacy systems really having on financial services? What are they looking for in a data platform? And for those already working with next-generation data platforms, what benefits are they already seeing? To truly understand this, you need to speak to the people working in these organisations day in and day out, so we commissioned a survey with Forrester Consulting. 

A big part of this is understanding the impact of legacy technology on an organisation and it is clear that most do:

  • 57% of respondents said that their legacy technology was too expensive and doesn’t fulfil requirements for modern applications 

  • 50% said legacy technology cannot support the volume, variety and velocity of transactional data 

  • 47% noted that their organisations systems landscape struggled to handle the rate of change required to stay up to date with customer expectation 

What is a next-generation data platform?

Identifying the impact of legacy technology is important, but you also need to understand what other options are available. The terms data, data management, and data platform can be defined in different ways. In this context, a next-generation data platform is defined as supporting flexible and versatile data models, offering multiple access patterns – document, relational, graph, for example – and catering to speed, scale, performance, integration, and security needs of small or large organisations for new development or modernization efforts. All of this is included in a single platform that delivers real-time, consistent and trusted data to support a business. The requirement to be able to deliver secure data “end-to-end” from a mobile device, to an embedded device (think EV car), and then to the data in the back office systems and analytic functions is a given.

Of the global IT and data platform decision-makers in the financial services and fintech space that were questioned, nearly 90% say they are already using a next-generation data platform. And almost three quarters (74%) of respondents understand that there are not only technology benefits, but also that a next-generation data platform would free up team members to focus on innovation as well as enabling faster software builds and iterating at scale (76%).

What’s driving the adoption?

Security and risk management are key use cases
Building customer trust is a top priority with customers entrusting financial institutions with a significant variety and amount of sensitive data. Many are still working on realising the full potential of adoption of next-generation data platforms, however, there is an understanding in the industry that they are the only way to manage cost, maximise security and continue to innovate. Fraud protection (51%), risk management (46%) and anti-money laundering (46%) were high priorities for any new data platform. This has a direct correlation with 40% saying that their current database is unable to meet security requirements. 

Multi-cloud is driving investment
Multi-cloud, the practice of leveraging cloud services from more than one provider, is no longer just a nice-to-have. Regulators are increasingly focused on cloud concentration risk when so much of the technology underpinning global financial services relies on so few large cloud services providers. Decision makers are finding that multiple clouds provide them with lower costs, higher performance, and greater flexibility. This is why the top driver for investment for decision makers when adopting next-generation data platforms is multi/hybrid cloud capabilities (49%), followed by scalability (44%). 

Legacy infrastructure is holding organisations back
High costs and data complexity are the top challenges driving organisations to modernise legacy workloads and unlock business agility. According to 57% of IT decision-makers questioned, legacy technology is too expensive and does not fulfil the requirements of modern applications. This correlates with 79% of respondents seeking a data platform that will address multiple workloads as data continues to expand.

What is the impact?

Financial organisations are replacing legacy technologies that fragment and duplicate data and cause internal silos, with next-generation data platforms. This is addressing key needs like reducing costs, lowering complexity, better onboarding, and meeting security requirements. 

Once in place, the platform is providing numerous advantages, including minimising data inconsistencies (43%), expanding geographical coverage (42%), freeing up resources (40%), and reducing time-to-market for new ideas (37%). There are also benefits to customer and employee experience as they engage with and access information, as well as eliminating the impact of database downtime for upgrades, migrations and schema changes. Based on these benefits, financial services organisations are looking to increase investment in next-generation data platforms by an average of US$1million or more in the next one to three years. 

The amount of data is not going to slow down and the types are only going to increase, so figuring out how to leverage it, protect it and innovate around it now is only going to stand you in good stead moving forward. A next-generation data platform can be the linchpin to making this happen. 

About the study

MongoDB commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study questioning global IT decision makers at financial services and fintech organisations to evaluate the impact they are experiencing when adopting next-generation data platforms. The study evaluates the benefits, challenges, and barriers of adoption that decision makers are experiencing, as well as the outcomes after adoption. 

To create this study, Forrester Consulting supplemented this research with custom survey questions asked of database/data platform strategy decision-makers in finserv or fintech from North America (22%), Europe (39%), and APAC (39%). The organisations questioned had 1,000+ employees. The custom survey began and was completed in September 2022.




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