5G, IoT, Cloud, Microservices and APIs have begun to flow together (literally). If industry findings are any indication, then by 2027, this high-tech combination will be common place in many mid-sized and some small enterprises. Large enterprises will be more focused on perfecting this quintet. Most will have achieved ‘adoption’ milestone close to 2025.
Each of these has either been in the making or in existence close to (or over) a decade.
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Many leading technology firms reported stellar Q1 2021 revenue results with equally bright forecasts for Q2- all in anticipation of cloud adoption. Initially driven by pandemic-induced lifestyle trends such as work-from-home, home schooling and online conferences, this strong momentum continued thanks to consumption-based billing models and subtle push towards ‘OpEx’ (operating expense) over ‘CapEx’ (capital expense) model.
Currently most cloud providers (IaaS, PaaS or SaaS) are focused on capturing greater market share. So much so, that Alphabet is still registering operating loss as it expects it’s investment in Google Cloud to pay off over time. Besides mindset shift (why migrate certain functions from private cloud to a public cloud, when it’s not broken), one of the biggest impediments to cloud adoption has been due to perceived technology integration costs, security and absence of a precise pay-per-use financial model. In recent months, almost all BigTech have dedicated a few roles, if not departments to outlining cost-economics for enterprise cloud.
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Just as leading financial executives were beginning to warm up to digital first strategy, Application Platform Interface (API) and Open Banking, IT service and solution providers have moved the needle further ahead to ‘Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS)’, ‘Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)’ and ‘Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)’. Touting these as must haves to truly modernize legacy banking infrastructure since anything less than this is just blase.
For long, executives have been told that every company is a tech company, including those within Financial Services industry. Now this concept has been further expanded such that according to experts, every company is in the business of hardware, computing, storage, cybersecurity and AI, who just so happen to offer financial products.
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Unbanked and underbanked never found refuge at traditional banks as they never met any of their qualifying criteria. Traditional banks also didn’t seem too keen to explore innovative viable business models that would include unbanked and underbanked. Part of this could be attributed to lack of cutting edge solutions such as artificial intelligence, advanced cloud computing capabilities, which are now fairly omnipresent.
They are increasingly being used to gather and process novel insights from structured and unstructured data.
And, remainder of this negligence could be attributed to lack of desire to find specialized ingenuous solutions for this demographic but instead to conveniently write them off.
It wasn’t until Vodafone’s M-Pesa found it’s footing in Kenya, that innovators and policy makers started acknowledging mobile banking as a great enabler for financial inclusion. Through further ingenuity and exploration, innovators with tie-ups with local private enterprises and with the help of government bodies, nurtured these sparks of insights into profitable and sustainable business models. Not many have been able to cross the chasm, so to speak, but there have been significant leaps in recent years due to commercialization of cloud computing and maturing of digital banking and payments landscape.
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