Top Tech Trends in Capital Markets for 2021

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8 December 2020

Capital markets on notice as technologies converge and pandemic proves step change is possible


The world had a tough 2020 but, unlike the 2008 financial markets crisis, this time capital markets emerged as the hero as governments worldwide looked to financial institutions (FIs) and market infrastructures (MIs) to help stabilize the economy in the wake of COVID-19. While financial institutions have done well, it has not been all plain sailing. It is now time to plan for 2021. The overriding trend will be for financial entities to focus technology resources on leveraging core competencies in creating value differentiators while working with partners or outsourcers for commodity activities.

During record-breaking market volatility, FIs and MIs faced the novel challenge of having most of their global staff work from home, and that challenge continues in 2021. Digital transformation was already underway, but COVID-19 provided a perfect catalyst for acceleration. The business of capital markets is entwined more closely with technology than ever before. Despite a revenue boost this year the outlook for capital markets remains challenging; making the right investment decisions requires understanding which area will have the highest impact at the intra- and inter-firm levels as well as understanding the change needed on the entities’ business culture and technical state.

This report discusses Celent's view on which technology trends will have the biggest impact on the capital markets industry in 2021 and places them in the context of the focus of change (cultural vs technical) and ecosytem (inter- and intra-firm).