Project Management Institute

Financial Services

Digital Dividends

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More than a decade out from the 2008 global economic crisis, huge regulatory strides and greater oversight mean most financial institutions are better poised to weather a recession. But other serious challenges in the financial services industry will maintain the demand for project professionals.

“Most large financial institutions are plagued by monolithic legacy applications and processes that work in silos and drain operational efficiencies,” says Soumya Maitra, PMP, project manager, Fidelity Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fintech startups have flooded the sector in recent years, hoping to address these problems. And behind those teams is an army of project managers pushing new solutions forward. “The shift calls for project managers who are geared toward scalability, growth and automation,” he says.

As fintech changes the field, larger institutions are following suit. Seventy-four percent of financial institutions already have implemented, are trialing or plan to implement artificial intelligence, bots or machine learning, according to Ovum's latest ICT Enterprise Insights report. And as financial institutions act to upgrade legacy systems and implement new technology, they're hungry for the enterprise and integration architecture skills to support those tasks, according to PwC's Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond report.

Ten years ago, roughly half of financial services leaders reported that skills shortage was a threat to their growth prospects. Today, more than three-fourths of financial CEOs worry about the skills shortage. According to PwC, the exact nature of those skills may vary—from experience with drone surveillance analytics in underwriting to how machine-learning systems underpin roboadvice systems—but comfort and curiosity around digital transformation are quickly becoming talent table stakes for project professionals.

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