Almost half (43%) of IT decision makers in Ireland’s largest financial services companies believe that AI will transform the industry in the next decade, but over a quarter (27%) admit that their infrastructure is not ready for the transformation.
So says a new study from Digital Realty, which also reveals that AI’s potential to dramatically transform far outpaces other technologies. According to the research, financial services leaders named application programming interface (API) platforms (18%), quantum computing (16%), Internet of Things (15%), robotic process automation (RPA) (7%), and blockchain (1%) falling behind AI in their potential for the industry.
While most recognise the financial benefits of these new technologies, the ability of IT leaders to prepare their businesses is restrained by budget (38%) and legacy infrastructure (22%).
The survey also highlights that across Ireland, businesses need to invest a total of €315.9 million (£273 million) to be ready for these new technologies, but they will need to do this in order to keep up with the competition – identified by 21% of IT leaders in the industry as their biggest technological challenge.
According to a McKinsey study carried out last year, AI will create new opportunities and add an additional estimated £10 trillion to global economic activity by 2030.
Processes already seen as standard in the financial services industry, such as fraud detection and stock trading, are made possible by AI. Financial institutions are increasingly looking to AI to aid customer communication, predictive analytics, trade processing, and intelligent investment solutions.
Digital Realty senior vice president of portfolio Val Walsh said: "The financial services industry is set to see some astonishing technological growth, and our new research demonstrates that companies in the sector are still underprepared for what’s to come. Technology like AI will greatly benefit the industry, but companies can only experience the full benefits of the technological revolution if their infrastructure is able to support these technologies.
"Key decision makers need to put infrastructure investment high on their agenda as the future is becoming increasingly data-led, so while there is an initial financial investment, financial services firms can expect to see a healthy return on this in the long-term."