capitalmarketsciooutlook

Capital Markets at the Crossroads of Innovation

By Gregory Schwartz, CIO, Scottrade

Gregory Schwartz, CIO, Scottrade

1. How do you see the benefits of cloud computing for the Capital Markets sector, and how have you embraced it?

Cloud computing has matured and is being widely used in most industries today including Capital Markets. From an innovation standpoint, cloud computing gives you the ability to quickly innovate by taking advantage of the infrastructure and all the pre-built solutions that are in the marketplace today. Companies also have the opportunity to shift part of their legacy platforms to cloud-based infrastructure. For the most part this is cost neutral, but this allows companies to use more of their talent on developing new capabilities. As per my observations, all of our competitors are doing some type of digital transformation that takes advantage of cloud offerings.

2. What does the Internet of Things mean for the Capital Markets?

On the retail side, connectivity and mobile capabilities are game changers. Everyone wants the ability to be mobile and to access their trading platforms across all their devices including new devices such as Amazon’s Echo.

3. One of the main reasons securities firms have been slow to adopt big data strategies is that the Capital Markets industry does not obviously lend itself to the consumer-driven applications seen in other industries. How do you think this can change?

The industry has been slow to innovate around big data strategies, however, trading platforms are very complex and perhaps that explains why the progress has been much slower. I believe companies today are innovating around business cases that would use big data to help solve personalized training and real-time advice.

4. What are the innovative technology and processes Stock Exchanges are in need of right now?

We need enhanced application programming interfaces (APIs) and services around advanced order capabilities rather than just basic service APIs today.

5. A good CRM lets the business review customer behavior, offer rewards, and keep track of customer preferences. What are your thoughts on getting this act right?

Artificial intelligence provides greater opportunity to more accurately predict what the customer wants and provide real-time guidance. This could be an automated function providing human-like interaction or used in conjunction with a customer service rep in a human-enhanced interaction.

6. Over the years, we have witnessed a massive change pertaining to the role of CIOs depending on the organization, the industry, the business strategies, the prevailing market conditions and the financial climate in terms of business value. How would you describe your own role as CIO has changed in the past couple of years?

Technology is so much a part of business strategy today that it has resulted in much stronger business collaboration and partnerships with the traditional IT organization. Innovation teams and agile development teams have blended business skills and IT skills together to create much more matrixed teams than previously existed. The traditional CIO responsibilities without a doubt still exist, but the expectation to strategize, collaborate, and innovate with your business partners have grown exponentially. It’s a much better place and a heck of lot more fun!