The rise of digital technology has dramatically altered the landscape in the financial-services sector. Banks offer financial planning and trading applications through smartphones and social media; cloud technologies are widely accepted, and in many cases robotics are already reducing cost and increasing quality. Since 2011, the number of startups in fintech (technology-based companies that often compete against traditional financial-services, or FS, firms) has risen more than 50 percent.
All this activity has provided new opportunities (and new competitive threats) for the industry. To meet the demands of the new marketplace, an IT function has to be flexible, efficient, and responsive. But those adjectives are not always applied to conventional IT departments.