What Matters in Fintech in 2017

We conducted a survey on hundreds of people working in financial and tech industries to find out what they’re most interested in learning in 2017. Here’s what we found:

Top Five Topics that Matter To You:

1. Artificial Intelligence
2017 is here and machines haven’t taken over yet, but they are becoming quicker, and more agile, but nowhere near sentient. While they do not have the capacity to feel or express emotions, the relationship between man and machine has been growing at a breakout pace. What do we mean by Artificial Intelligence? The textbook definition of AI is a sub-field of computer science with a goal to enable the development of computers that are usually done by people. For some developers of AI systems, the goal is to build systems that think exactly the same way people do, whereas for others, the system just needs to get the job done and the computation has nothing to do with human thought. Some developers are the “in-betweeners”, who use human reasoning as a model to inform and inspire the systems creation but imitation isn’t the final target. Some AI systems you might be familiar with or even use in your everyday life are phone assistants like Siri or Alexa, self-driving cars like Tesla’s autopilot feature and home security systems like Canary.

2. Security/Privacy
As we become more reliant on technology to simplify once tedious tasks like shopping, paying bills, running payroll, etc. our information and identities become vulnerable to unsettling data breaches and cyber-attacks. The internet permeates through every aspect of our professional, personal and government lives. While the internet definitely has its perks, allowing for networking, giving a voice to the voiceless, and opening everyone’s eyes to experiences and occurrences across the world. The challenge is dealing with how to protect information that makes us prone to sophisticated and collaborative cyber-criminals. The internet is progressively becoming an attractive hunting ground for nimble criminals, activists, and terrorists motivated to make money, get noticed, cause disruptions or bring down corporations and governments through online attacks.
A few ways to keep your systems secure is: protected with unique passwords, minimize points of failure by eliminating unnecessary access to hardware/software, conduct screening and background checks on all employees from the mailroom the executive suite, provide basic IT security training, avoid unknown email attachments, keep your software up-to-date, use a virus scanner, stay paranoid and THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK!

3. Alignment of IT with the Business
Aligning an organization’s business strategy with its IT strategy generally improves the company’s overall performance. It can lead to more efficient processes, the development of better products and services, cost reductions, faster response times, and more efficient supply chain management. To achieve strategic alignment, the IT strategy should be developed at the same time as the business strategy, and integrated into it.
Because aligning business strategy with IT strategy tends to have a positive impact on organizations, strategic alignment should be a top priority for senior managers. They should regard IT as a way of meeting business goals and providing value.
To align IT strategy with business strategy, every aspect of the IT strategy should support the business goals of the organization. In other words, all IT systems, applications, processes, and budgets should agree with the overall corporate strategy and objectives. When a company’s business strategy is properly aligned with its IT strategy – that is, when it’s IT-enabled – it can prove valuable in different ways.

4. Cloud Computing
No, we aren’t talking about those puffy white cumulus clouds in the sky, we’re talking about data and the internet. Cloud computing, or “the cloud,” is the delivery of on-demand computing resources, such as applications and data centers, over the internet on a pay-for-use basis. In the simplest terms, cloud computing is storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of on your computer’s hard-drive. Google-Drive is a pure example of cloud-computing service, with all the storage online so it can work with other cloud apps like Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. Other cloud services are Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive and SugarSync.

5. Scrum and Agile
“Scrum” and “Agile” seem to be used interchangeably when you first enter this world, but there is an important distinction. Agile refers to a set of “methods and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the Agile Manifesto,” which includes things like collaboration, self-organization, and cross functionality of teams. Scrum is a framework that is used to implement Agile development.
Agile was born out of the techniques utilized by innovative Japanese companies in the 70’s and 80’s (companies like Toyota, Fuji, and Honda). In the mid-90’s, a man by the name of Jeff Sutherland found himself frustrated by companies who were continually plagued by projects that were behind schedule and over budget. He sought to find a better way. His research brought him to these Japanese companies and their Agile methods. Basing his work on this, Sutherland created the Scrum framework. After a series of successes using his new methods, Scrum began to quickly spread throughout the product development world.

So that’s what you all told us matters to you today, stay tuned for webinars on all these topics 100% FREE led by Starweaver Group’s premium instructors.

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