01.02.2018
By Rob Daly

Outlook 2018: Robert Palatnick, DTCC

Robert Palatnick is a managing director and the chief technology architect at DTCC.

Robert Palatnick, DTCC

What do you see as the next watershed moment for the industry?
Over the past few years, we have been approaching a turning point, where the application of new technologies such as robotics, distributed-ledger technology, cloud, and advanced data analytics are being adopted and implemented across the financial services industry. The data warehouses and data lakes that we have all invested in over the past several years are being leveraged to provide value with emerging data science and machine learning tools. In 2018, we will be at a point where we will be able to better capitalize on the benefits and capabilities of these nascent technologies, and in the case of DLT for example, we will begin to see use cases move to production bringing the technology to life. We expect that the industry will continue to attain new levels of productivity and cost reductions in the years ahead as a direct result of fintech adoption.

Which hot topics/hype should the industry retire?
Most would agree that DLT has moved beyond the “hype” phase and that the speculation of widespread and rapid disintermediation of traditional banking and the entire financial industry was very naïve. There is a lot of potential for DLT and, once fully understood and tested, its application could transform how the financial services industry operates today. However, we are passed simply speculating about the technology and now have realistic expectations around the effort and coordination that are required to make DLT implementations successful, and in the future need for interoperability and standardization. As experimentation grows throughout the industry, we have to ensure that the initiatives truly support business goals and deliver client value. DLT will not be the silver bullet for all opportunities.

Why do you expect investments in fintech to rise, plateau, or trail off in 2018?
We anticipate that investments in fintech will continue to rise as successful implementations move to production. We continue to see fintech’s potential to solve industry inefficiencies by streamlining and refining existing processes, lowering costs and providing enhanced benefits such as improved resilience or cyber capabilities. Fintech will continue to positively transform the industry, as it has for decades.

What do you expect to be the skill sets most in demand in 2018?
Data science, cloud engineering, and cybersecurity skills will continue to be in high demand in 2018. DLT skills continue to be very scarce, and demand will grow. The drive for business growth and innovation goes hand in hand with the need to ensure security and protection from growing cyber threats. The financial industry will continue to place a high value on those contributors who can innovate using data and information, as well as those who can strengthen their firm’s mitigation and resiliency around new cyber threats and risks.

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