Posted on 14th February 2020
by Paul Smitherman
Five Trends that are Defining the Modern Workplace in Financial Services

We are living longer but businesses are not. There is much research to suggest that the average tenure of some of the world’s biggest companies has reduced dramatically over the last fifty years. Some sources estimate the average life span of a Fortune 500 business has gone from 60 years in the 1950s to 18 years today, and the trend continues. In the last twenty years up to half the world’s largest companies have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist (Constellation Research). Some analysts suggest that half of the biggest companies over the next ten years are businesses we haven’t even heard of yet.

The most significant reason for this trend is the pace of technology change and how it is disrupting not just big businesses, but entire industries. It’s critical that if firms are not only going to survive but thrive, they must embrace the massive changes in technology, people and pace. Part of that is striving to be a “Modern Workplace” and in the words of Meg Whitman CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) “The future is for the fast”.

Here are 5 transformational trends that are defining our Modern Workplace within Financial Services:


1. Multi-generational Workforce
The average employee age may be coming down, but the overall workforce age span is larger than ever. Ranging from 18 to 80 it brings vast differences in attitudes to work and behaviours. The Modern Workplace needs to address the strengths and weaknesses of the younger and older generations, as well as the changes in buyer attitudes such as the way we bank and consume Financial Services. For example, 33% of millennials say that in five years time they won’t need a bank.


2. Proliferation of Technology
Following a slow start, Financial Services are speeding up public cloud adoption as security and compliance concerns are overcome and businesses of all sizes seek to get fast, secure and convenient on-demand services that are also cost effective. The technology investments required to start up have reduced dramatically, lowering the barriers to entry and increasing competition and disruption for established players. Microsoft 365 lets you run your entire business in the cloud, giving you productivity, team collaboration, unified communication, mobile security and business intelligence all in one instant package at a low cost with no commitment. Emerging trends are also heralding a new dawn as we move from getting software to users to getting software to devices. The way we connect things and use data are bringing new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Edge Computing, Block Chain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the forefront of business applications. We are seeing AI enable Investment Managers to use powerful algorithms to analyse large sets of data, make predictions and automate routine tasks, freeing up resources to focus on the high value strategic activities.


3. Better Work/Life Balance
Technology has enabled much more flexible working patterns, allowing employees to adjust their work schedules to their busy lives while at the same time increasing productivity. According to Microsoft, in the space of five years the rate of employees working outside the office has increased four-fold and according to the research conducted by the Guardian, 70% of UK employees feel flexible working makes a job more attractive and 30% would prefer flexible working to a pay rise.


4. A Modern Office Environment
With floorspace at a premium, remote working can help address the business need to keep costs to a minimum. But although Skype, Teams and other shared workspace technologies have all helped to keep us connected, flexible working doesn’t have to mean that all your desks should be empty. The office should act as a collaborative space where real relationships are formed and informal conversations take place, helping to build relationships and a culture of helpfulness.


5. New Risks
There are new risks which are part of the daily life within a Modern Workplace which were not there ten years ago, with Cyber Security being the most prevalent. While traditional risks like fire and flood should not be ignored, what is really going to wreck your business in the 21st century is a cyber-attack, and it will likely be done in a public setting. Recent events with Travelex [Link] demonstrate this acutely and highlights how cyber security attacks are become more sophisticated. According to IBM, Financial Services are 65% more likely to be attacked than other industries and these attacks are increasing by 30% per year. But the good news is that as an industry we are getting better at defending against attacks. Although the number of attacks are increasing, the actual breaches are growing at a slower rate.


Are you ready to become a Modern Workplace now?
Find out how Lanware is helping its Financial Services clients address these challenges and leverage the benefits of the public cloud with Finance Forward 365.