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The Road Ahead: Predictions for 2019

But few firms have built a framework for value stream management that can apply the same metrics consistently across the enterprise, to teams working in the siloed departments of engineering and operations.

number of software technology vendors offer tools labeled value stream management that visualise the software development chain and capture key indicators of success.

As Nick Jones, head of test engineering at Global Payments, the Atlanta-based payments platform, explained in a recent webinar, produced by QA Financial, value stream management helps deliver operational efficiencies by identifying -  on a level playing field - which teams are doing well, and which aren’t.

Arthur C Clarke, the scientist and writer, is credited with the adage: 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'* Yes, it's been the buzzword for 2018, but 2019 will be the year AI moves from the realm of magic to the real world and goes enterprise-wide at larger financial firms.

'The mobile app developers are ahead of everyone else right now in terms of assessing the impact AI can have on testing  - we want to know what those mobile developers are doing,' the head of QA at one leading exchange tells us.

recent survey by EY on banking risk and technology change found that a key concern of banks is creating “regulatory and supervisory certainty around the deployment of new technologies'.  As financial firms become more technologically complex, the risk and IT functions are getting pushed closer together and risk managers are increasingly involved in IT decisions.

But the FRTB is proving a catalyst for change at some leading banks because it requires that they capture market risk in real time and render that data accurately to the firm’s risk engine.

But the scale of this new challenge is prompting a number of firms to change the way they develop and test their trading software, pushing them towards agile ways of working.

The debacle at TSB in April 2018, when the bank’s mobile and online systems collapsed during a transition to the IT platform of its owner, Sabadell, showed just how much can go wrong when managers fail to grasp the requirements of new software technologies, such as micro-services.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the US agency that supervises the federal banking system, has flagged in its latest semi-annual report its concern about 'concentration risk' as more business flows to fewer IT vendors.

The larger-scale IT industry deals included IBM's acquisition of Red Hat, the cloud and open-source integration specialist, for $34 billion and chip-maker Broadcom’s acquisition of CA Technologies, at a cost of $19 billion.

And while the leading systems integrators are seeing good revenue growth overall, growth in revenues from the financial services sector is lagging behind others.

Tata Consulting Services' quarterly results announcement in September showed year-on-year revenue growth of 11.5% with 6.1% growth in revenues from the financial services segment of its customer base.

For Cognizant, financial clients are clearly problematic: while it's overall revenues were up 8.3% year-on-year, financial services revenue growth was only 4.4%, well behind sectors such as healthcare and media.

For the leading SIs and the specialist quality assurance vendors alike, there is more growth to be had from winning business from smaller clients in sectors that have been behind the curve of digital development: credit unions, private, alternative lenders, and smaller asset management businesses, for example.

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