What Lies Ahead for 2019: The Road to Innovation

By Lisa Iagatta, ISITC Chair

Each new year offers a time for reflection on the path we’ve taken and predictions of what lies ahead. As an industry, we have certainly undergone a transformation over the past year. From cryptocurrencies’ volatile peaks and valleys, to the continuous promises of emerging technologies, to new regulations like General Data Protection Regulation Compliance (GDPR), 2018 kept ISITC members busy cultivating discussions around these issues and sharing best practices to stay up-to-date on disruptors.

With 2018 behind us, we’re looking toward the future and sharing the ideas that will be most impactful to securities operations professionals as they look to innovate in 2019.

1.     Industry collaboration is key

ISITC prides itself on our collaboration with members as well as other industry organizations. Our membership comprises professionals from a variety of firms across the ecosystem, enabling opportunities for transparent, valuable conversations that allow members and event attendees to achieve a better understanding of how to address and solve for the challenges impacting their firms. We’ve also partnered with SMPG, ISO, X9, SIFMA, ISDA, and EDM Council; all have helped broaden our expertise and afforded us a deeper dive into the topics most important to our industry.

In such turbulent times, it’s crucial that we lean on each other to advance the industry – our members are subject matter experts who offer important knowledge.  To continue to innovate and evolve, it’s important that we bring everyone to the table.

2.     Robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) will be integral for innovation

We should anticipate discussions around RPA and AI to continue, extending beyond the buzzwords to substantive dialogues on how these technologies are impacting our industry.  These technologies present opportunities for more automated processes that will lead to greater operational efficiency. In my view, a near-future use case for both will be in the area of reconciliation.

While some in our industry are resistant to technological change, believing that RPA and AI will ultimately supplant humans, more are eager to experience its advancements and recognize the benefits of enhanced employee satisfaction, productivity, and increased value.

 3.     Data will be a major focus in 2019

Every day, the amount of data that we have to manage and organize grows, and this is an issue that will only become more pressing in 2019. As work continues on data modeling and data definition development, the industry will need to band together to move these initiatives forward. There will also be a definite need for the expansion of legal entity identifier (LEI) and creation of a natural person identifier (NPI) in the near future.

To derive greater value and achieve maximum benefit from data, we’ll need to collect a lot more ‘good’ data, far beyond what we have today. Systems and definitions that are developed must be flexible enough to account for new data elements to accommodate the ongoing evolution of our industry and our organizations. ISITC has had a particular focus on data in past events, and we plan to cover this topic and continue our work in 2019. 

As technology continues to rapidly evolve and transform our lives and our work, it’s important to engage with people and organizations committed to being at the forefront of change. Through active involvement and discussion around these changes, we can help each other adapt and prepare for the future, whether through implementation of AI capabilities to our existing systems or shifting to a new model that better utilizes available technologies. To learn more about the events and resources ISITC provides to help professionals stay on the cutting edge, click here.