Today, a collection of external forces and drivers are beginning to dominate the agenda in most financial services firms. Alongside the usual array of challenges to grow revenues and cut costs, these companies are beginning to face a third category of challenges. From managing risk in its many forms to complying with a variety of government and industry regulations, financial services companies are faced with exogenous forces that are taking center stage.
Combine that with the need to constantly bolster the security of their systems and client information -- while staunchly maintaining the privacy of their clients' records -- and you can see why these external forces will be a major focus area for financial services firms in 2007. To gain competitive advantage, financial services companies need to find innovative ways to manage these forces -- from using data captured for compliance purposes to better serve their customers to further automating, optimizing and reducing risk management spending.