Clue: firms that are struggling to be data-centric amid fierce digitalized competition will need to step up their game

After the whirlwind year that was 2022, the halcyon days of aggressive loan growth on the back of low interest rates are practically over, especially for financial services in the Asia Pacific region.

How, then, can the region continue driving growth and steering economies with zeal in the face of seemingly insurmountable hurdles? Could addressing the limitations of core data platforms with modern tools offer the means to thrive amid the current uncertainty?

The persistence of legacy data platforms stifles the ability of financial institutions to offer personalized offerings to customers, which can be fatal in the face of intensifying competition. Furthermore, legacy core architecture lacks the connectivity to third parties that would enable collaboration for innovation.

While many financial services organizations consider how they can make full use of the cloud and leverage technologies like AI and ML, data needs to be at the heart of these transformations. Without data-centricity, new tech deployments will not deliver their full business value and organizations will be back to square one.

To truly leave the issues that define legacy systems behind, it is imperative that data is accurate, secure, effective, and accessed in real time.

Deb Dutta, General Manager (Asia Pacific & Japan), DataStax

Data centricity: shape up or ship out
On the other side of the data utilization coin, firms that have accelerated digital transformation are struggling with ever-larger data sets. The key question has always been “what to do to get the most out of this seemingly endless well of information?”

According to EY, the coming years will see leading financial services organizations in APAC strive for data centricity in mission-critical operations, with the proviso that significant investments must be made so that data is treated on a par with material business imperatives such as sales. Failure to do so could lead to consequences — especially for digitalization laggards unable to keep up with agile startups that can produce smart, highly scalable applications to meet changing customer demands quickly.

The good news is that financial services can weather these challenges if they strive to keep up with the competition using data-driven decisions, with the ability to ingest, store, process and analyze data in real time, gaining the ability to reach intelligent decisions even if it means simultaneously pulling data across channels involving hundreds of databases.

Is there a magic bullet for laggards?
Financial services organizations in the region can unlock the full value of their data and navigate challenges to achieve more resilience once they understand the stakes involved in achieving data centricity.

Decision-makers should also recognize that the choices they make regarding their core data platform will set the direction of the wider business in the coming decade or so.

Already available to such firms are distributed NoSQL databases that offer the scalability to meet on-demand performance while remaining easy-to-use and affordable. These are crucial elements to flourishing despite economic headwinds.

Furthermore, a serverless, multi-cloud native DBaaS can provide solutions to financial services firms struggling to handle large amounts of data, providing high availability with no single point of failure, and with no need to dedicate precious time to operational database tasks. This can accelerate application development while ensuring security, DevOps simplicity, and API-driven developer agility.

What is more: with the right data-centric solutions in place, firms that are lagging in digitalization will be empowered to leverage significant operational benefits on a pay-as-you-go basis without lock-ins.

Amid the current heightened competition and a weakened global economy, decision-makers in the industry know that only the fittest survive: modernizing their core data platforms is a no-brainer if they want to deliver value quickly.