Despite the turbulence of the last year, UK businesses are continuing to make positive strides towards technological innovation. This has been highlighted in fresh analysis of four years of data from Visma | Onguard’s Fintech Barometer, which shows that number of organisations planning to undertake a digital transformation strategy within the next 6 to 11 months has more than doubled from 17% in 2019 to 35% in 2021.
This increasingly digital approach is highlighted further when reviewing the top technology trends being recognised by finance professionals over the four-year period. In particular, artificial intelligence (AI) has risen to be top of mind for finance professionals, with almost half (47%) of organisations identifying it as one of the top three technology trends set to impact the sector, up from 31% in 2018. With this, the ability to analyse data is a growing requirement for finance professionals, rising from just over a third (37%) recognising the need for this skill in 2020 to almost half (44%) in 2021. This is also being driven by data already beginning to play a much greater role in organisational strategy, with 38% of businesses stating that data supports their processes, up from 28% in 2020.
Looking to the future, the use of blockchain technology is set to form the next step of the fintech revolution, as almost two-thirds (65%) have either adopted the technology or worked out the first ideas for future adoption, up from half (51%) in 2018.
Together, these findings point to finance professionals increasingly recognising the need to adopt digital transformation strategies and transformative fintech software, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the myriad of challenges it created. This is evidenced by fewer financial professionals saying they are now resistant to change (15%), compared to 2019 levels (23%).
“We’ve been conducting our Fintech Barometer over the last four years, and the insights we’ve gained with clear trends emerging over this period have been fascinating. Four years ago, nobody could have predicted the kind of world we’d be living in today, and our findings have really demonstrated just how much of an impact the challenges of the last year have had on the attitudes of finance professionals towards issues like innovation and fintech. This translates to a growing trend towards digitisation, data-driven insights and a growing revolution in fintech adoption, with more organisations enthusiastically undertaking digital transformation initiatives within shorter timeframes than in previous years. We expect this to continue over the coming years and as always, we’ll continue to monitor progress,” said Raymon van Viegen, CFO at Visma | Onguard.