Almost half (43%) of IT decision makers in Ireland’s largest financial services companies believe that AI will transform the industry in the next decade, but over a quarter (27%) admit that their infrastructure is not ready for the transformation, a new survey conducted by Digital Realty reveals.

AI’s potential to dramatically transform outpaces other much-hyped technologies, with financial services leaders naming application programming interface (API) platforms (18%), quantum computing (16%), internet of things (IoT) (15%), robotic process automation (RPA) (7%), and blockchain (1%) falling behind AI in their potential for the industry.

The financial benefits of these new technologies can be huge but the ability of IT leaders to prepare their businesses for these new technologies is restrained by budget (38%) and legacy infrastructure (22%). The survey highlighted that across Ireland, businesses need to invest a total of €315.9 million to be ready for these new technologies, but they will need to do this in order to keep up with the competition – identified by 21% of IT leaders in the industry as their biggest technological challenge.

AI is going to revolutionise every industry, making businesses faster and cheaper to operate, creating new opportunities and adding an additional estimated £10 trillion to global economic activity by 2030.

Processes already seen as standard in the financial services industry, such as fraud detection and stock trading, are made possible by AI. Financial institutions are increasingly looking to AI to aid customer communication, predictive analytics, trade processing, and intelligent investment solutions.

Digital Realty and IDG Research predicted that in the next two years, 48% of large financial services businesses will move their workloads to cloud wherever possible and just 27% expect their workloads to remain on-premise.

Val Walsh, Senior Vice President, Portfolio at Digital Realty, commented: “The financial services industry is set to see some astonishing technological growth, and our new research demonstrates that companies in the sector are still underprepared for what’s to come. Technology like AI will greatly benefit the industry, but companies can only experience the full benefits of the technological revolution if their infrastructure is able to support these technologies.

“Key decision makers need to put infrastructure investment high on their agenda as the future is becoming increasingly data-led, so whilst there is an initial financial investment, financial services firms can expect to see a healthy return on this in the long-term,” concludes Walsh.

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