Irish IT decision-makers admit their infrastructure is not ready for AI

10 Apr 2019

Valerie Walsh. Image: Digital Realty

Budget restraints and legacy infrastructure frustrate the decision-makers in Ireland’s leading financial services companies.

Almost half of IT decision-makers in Ireland’s largest financial services companies believe artificial intelligence (AI) will transform their industry in the decade ahead.

However, more than a quarter (27pc) admit that their infrastructure is not ready for the transformation required.

‘Key decision-makers need to put infrastructure investment high on their agenda as the future is becoming increasingly data-led’

A new study by Digital Realty and IDG Research revealed that across Ireland, businesses will need to invest €315.9m to be ready to use new technologies.

The technologies that will transform financial services

AI (43pc) leads the pack in terms of technologies that will transform the financial services industry, followed by application program interface platforms (18pc), quantum computing (16pc), internet of things (15pc), robotic process automation (7pc), and blockchain (1pc).

The financial benefits of these new technologies can be huge but the ability of IT leaders to prepare their businesses is restrained by budget (38pc) and legacy infrastructure (22pc).

AI is tipped to transform nearly every industry, making businesses faster and cheaper to operate, and will lead to £10trn of global economic activity by 2013, according to McKinsey Global Institute.

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.

“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,” said Valerie Walsh, senior vice-president for portfolio at data centre giant Digital Realty.

“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,” Walsh said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years