We have been blogging all week from Sibos in Sydney. Sydney, by the way, makes a great backdrop, as it is an elegant city that is developed to interact with nature. There is a lot of wood used in building and the relationship with the ocean and river is well-defined. The materials used to decorate offices, public spaces or restaurants are usually well-coordinated with their natural environment.

We’ve arrived at the last day of the event, marked by a lot of energy from the participants. Here are some of our observations.

Three final impressions regarding software houses:

  1. There are a lot of new partners (including software firms) investing heavily and in an agile mode to get the most from new technologies.
  2. We see a strong push to shift solutions to the cloud and to adopt Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to reduce companies’ fixed costs.
  3. There are important investments to develop solutions that could become market standards, especially involving blockchain. The recent announcement of Lendercomm, a blockchain-based loan syndication by Finastra is a good example.

The industry is being pulled in different directions: There are new players and new technologies, but at the same time there is more concentration through acquisitions and the entry of private equity firms acting as consolidators.

Cécile was also struck by the professionalism of the media covering the event.

They are investing heavily to understand business trends and challenges facing the industry. An interview with the Financial Times (Asia) covered the hurdles to broader development of blockchain in trade finance, including legal constraints on letters of credit and the lack of common technology standards. We also explored the impact on business operating models, including middle and back office and how to manage the transition.

Hakan attended a late session on the hyper-connected future of bank platforms and came away with these directives:

  1. Think from the use case—build Application Programming Interface (API) products and do not start from the legacy/mainframe mindset
  2. Regulation helps banks invest in API technologies/infrastructure as a baseline for further developments
  3. API strategies need to be built to keep pace with the massive pace of changing market conditions
  4. Currently most banks offer internal API or partner APIs—but not open APIs other than the regulated ones. Banks want to control the front-end and/or customer touchpoints and data security, but with pressure from Google, Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon (GAFA-type players) they might need to cede control and move to open APIs.

That wraps it up for Sibos 2018—we are heading back home with new ideas and a lot to think about. Thanks for joining us!

 

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