digital transformation

Rise of the Platform

William Shakespeare wrote: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." It turns out - more so now than ever before - that there is a business equivalent to this famous line from Act 2 Scene 7 of Shakespeare's play, "As You Like It." The difference, however, is that the "stage" in the current context is known as a platform. And, with each passing day, the strength, agility, intelligence and speed requirements of current financial platforms tend to increase. Putting our key points up front, what we are going to emphasize as we make the case for the validity (and urgency) of this opening salvo are the following: The ceaseless march of innovation, competitive forces and exogenous market factors dictate that players in the modern financial services industry evolve from their initial proprietary technology bias to an expanded supply chain strategy, with focus on certain foundational categories of technical functionality. In other words, for a majority of players, their are certain core technical components that [...]

By | 2018-07-17T00:33:26+00:00 July 17th, 2018|Alphacution Feed|

Alphacution Riffs Ep 2 – Measuring the Pace of Automation

Episode 2 of our new video series, Alphacution Riffs, picks up where Episode 1 left off - and begins to describe our research mission, modeling methodology and research workflow. We also begin to lay the foundation for our "T-Greeks" benchmarking framework that focuses on measuring and comparing "return on technology" (RoT) - otherwise known as "technical leverage" - for banks and asset managers. Here, we describe how much of our core research effort is currently built on the basis of just 3 simple data points collected for a model library that currently represents 200 large banks, asset managers, hedge funds, and even certain proprietary trading groups, among others - more than 250+ FSI-related companies in all - and how each of those models covers several years, with many of our core models beginning in 2005. With these 3 data points and our 360-degree modeling strategy, we can move beyond the benefits of various market-sizing exercises to more impactful benchmarking exercises. This tutorial is important for our clients and broader network [...]

By | 2018-04-25T22:01:21+00:00 March 28th, 2018|Alphacution Feed, Video|

Alphacution Riffs Ep 1 – Technology Strategy is Business Strategy

Alphacution is proud to launch its video series, Alphacution Riffs.  Not only bringing our clients new levels of intelligence - by quantifying and modeling and benchmarking the critical interplay between technology capital and human capital - for their digital transformations, we are "eating at our own kitchen" by leveraging tools and methods of the era to help make our research - and seemingly complex topics - much easier to understand. The digital media landscape is a jungle - and we are not trying to compete in a popularity contest. However, in order to be successful, we do need to consistently identify our best audience and then consistently grab a slice of their attention. Therefore, if you find the visual interpretation of what we are doing with traditionally dry and sometimes in-the-weeds research - like the website stylings and now the video series with its combined Rock n' Roll and Silicon Valley sensibility - to be a bit different, please know that it is entirely on purpose. Sure, it would be [...]

By | 2018-04-21T15:10:30+00:00 March 14th, 2018|Alphacution Feed, Video|

Decay of Knowledge, Rise of Tech Debt

Has (information) technology made us smarter? And, are there costs that counteract - if not, neutralize - the perceived benefits of technology? Given the intangible and elusive nature of the impacts, plausible answers to increasingly common questions like these usually defy placement into an analytical framework. This post is our attempt to begin to overcome such impediments and be as objective as possible about the full range of impacts from technology, whether the use case be personal or institutional. The Digital Attention Crisis Our hypothesis on the decay of knowledge and the rise of "tech debts" is based on the idea that knowledge decay in the digital era is influenced by the following chain of logic: The capacity of (human) attention is, at best, inelastic - both individually and collectively; The proliferation of technology into all aspects of our lives represents an increasing source of distraction, noise, and "overhead" - collectively known herein as technology debts; The payment of tech debts is likely to increase in tandem with the increasing [...]

By | 2018-03-14T15:36:06+00:00 January 22nd, 2018|Alphacution Feed|

Technological Implications of Cultural Transformation – Numerix Video Blog Series

In this FOURTH of a five-part video blog series Jim Jockle, CMO of Numerix sits down with Paul Rowady, Director of Research at Alphacution to discuss the recent FinTech Revolution. They discuss how firms are gearing themselves towards a digital culture, and how companies are working to distinguish themselves in this new age. The five videos cover the following: Part 1: Paralysis by Analysis: Preparation & Analyzation for Digital Disruption Part 2: IT Outsourcing and Transformation Part 3: Revolutionizing FinTech: Looking into the World of Data Automation Part 4: Technological Implications of Cultural Transformation Part 5: Digital Noise in the FinTech Space Jim Jockle (Host): So let me go to your research. You know you suggested a little bit, there’s the differentiators in terms of maximizing our opportunity and then there’s a congested middle-of-the-pack. Transitioning, so yes you had the Fords, who arguably have done very well in that or a transitionary period of time but you also saw the Hondas and Toyotas come out of nowhere and things of [...]

By | 2018-02-28T16:34:48+00:00 December 5th, 2016|Alphacution Feed|

Thomson Reuters publishes “Quantifying the Transformation”

Everything takes longer than you initially think it will. Never a truer statement made, particularly when it comes to the following: Negotiated, commissioned and subsequently developed  - and then re-vamped - for completion on an expedited timeline last spring (2016), our first annual deep-dive study into technology spending patterns among the largest global banks was only recently published by client-partner Thomson Reuters. We have referenced this work and output regularly over the past several months, but there is something special about having a partner bring it to light. We are grateful to finally put this corner-stone credential in place. Access Thomson Reuter's "chapterized" version here or the entire document here:  Enjoy.  There is much more of this output - and key developments surrounding that output - on the way soon...

By | 2018-02-28T16:35:32+00:00 October 3rd, 2016|Alphacution Feed|

Navigational FinTelligence: The Method and the Madness

This post includes a metaphor, an anecdote and a vision.  Ready?  Here's the sketch: A magician - who was prone to playing the "long ball" - sought to develop the world's greatest card trick. True to form, the magician asks a volunteer to pick a card, sign his name to it, and put it back in the deck. The magician then claims to transport that card into a tree. When the tree was cut down immediately thereafter, the autographed playing card was found, encased in glass, nestled within the heart of the trunk. A weary traveler - and avid puzzle-builder - walks into the Louvre gift shop in 2002 and purchases one of the world's largest jigsaw puzzles. It was 8,000 pieces, when assembled, depicting an elaborate fresco created by Luca Giordano during the Habsburg Dynasty (known as "trigolo degli Asburgo"). The puzzle sat in its box until 2007 when - over the course of the next year - the puzzle was assembled on two adjoining sheets of 4' by 8' [...]

By | 2018-02-28T16:35:57+00:00 September 23rd, 2016|Alphacution Feed|

Can (Digital) Transformation Be Measured?

A sextant is an optical navigation device used by sailors starting around 1730. With practice, it can prove quite accurate in plotting courses. Though the contemporary digital equivalent - a global positioning system (GPS) - has become the mainstream tool for navigation, sextants are still in use today among a small but avid group of yachtsman, survivalists and cognoscenti. Keep this migration in mind as we walk through today's question: Can (digital) transformation be measured? Our answer to this, of course, is yes - however, as in most cases, the specificity of measurement is data dependent. So, the qualified "yes" to this question, for now, relates to measuring transformation at the enterprise level. This is because the necessary enterprise data is relatively easy to find in the financial disclosures of the companies in our initial target sample. There is also rhyme and reason to starting at enterprise level because it plays squarely into our long term vision to define the total value of technology spending in the financial services ecosystem - [...]

By | 2018-02-28T16:36:04+00:00 September 20th, 2016|Alphacution Feed|

Back to the Front: Post-Trade Processing Getting Sexy-er

If you happen to hear the drumbeat of these things called "operational analytics" getting louder, then you just may be dialed in to the subtle downstream impacts of some of today's most common headlines related to financial enterprise transformation. For instance, the fintech revolution we are living through - with all its new-fangled and often overly-hyped gadgetry - is really about harnessing the opportunity for unprecedented process efficiencies. But, while it is a soothing distraction to daydream about deploying new digital tools during the ongoing regulatory hurricane, the economic impact that they will have on the FSI landscape is barely going to move the needle anytime soon. Of course, there are exceptions to this broad brush stroke: The impact of evolving IT infrastructure solutions from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to software defined networks (SDNs) to any number of other high-performance compute and storage tools are already sufficiently mature to be making a major impact on architectures and technology buying patterns. A similar statement could be made about open source big data tools such [...]

By | 2018-02-28T16:36:21+00:00 September 14th, 2016|Alphacution Feed|

#Launchpad: Introducing the New Alphacution Website and Content

Our team has largely been on hiatus for the past couple months developing several new assets, including most notably our new Alphacution "content storage, distribution and promotion application" - er - website, and a bunch of new content to go in it which begins to showcase our research methodologies and initial modeling output. For the attention-deficit crowd (and those who are not already reading this on the site), you can skip the following shout-outs and contextual comments by hopping to www.alphacution.com now. In addition to our Feed section (for commentaries, videos, press coverage and company news), you will find a lot of "freemium" content accessible in the Open Exhibits Library and the Document Library. A short - and FREE - registration process will open access to those components and add your details to our newsletter distribution list. Please don't skip that part - and for extra credit, send us your feedback (info@alphacution.com) no matter the temperature... For the rest of you, here's some of the context behind these latest developments: [...]

By | 2018-02-28T16:36:34+00:00 July 19th, 2016|Alphacution Feed|