The finance sector is undergoing a series of profound changes, from mobile payments and financial inclusion to cryptocurrency and high-frequency trading (HFT). Behind these are powerful technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, and 5G.
We will talk about these trends and more at the Huawei Intelligent Finance Summit (HiFS) in Shanghai on June 3-4, 2021.
While these changes are diverse, they all have one thing in common — the new and upgraded services they enable generate a massive amount of data, which is growing exponentially every year.
In theory, this is something extremely positive. Data is quickly becoming a new currency in today’s digital world, giving companies a glimpse into the needs and wants of customers like never before. Big data allows us to make better decisions faster, calculate and preempt risks, and ultimately generate more money and value-add.
However, in practice, data can be a challenge. First of all, it needs to be stored somewhere, making data centers and cloud storage crucial for the finance sector. Secondly, data needs to be analyzed if we are to unlock its full value, requiring new technologies like AI for analysis optimization. Most importantly, financial data needs to be secured, both for user protection and regulatory compliance.
So, how can new technologies support the latest trends in the finance industry, especially given the vast amount of data that the finance sector generates, stores, and analyzes?
The increase in data is almost universally true for every modern financial institution out there — be it bank, insurer, trader, or FinTech company. As the number of digital financial services grows, so does the amount of data they generate, requiring larger and more efficient storage space.
For many companies this growth is very fast, meaning that they need more storage space very quickly. They also need to plan for the future and allocate storage for projected data growth. Plus, in the finance industry, much of the data needs to be stored locally for faster access, compliance, and security.
One example is the Swiss insurer, Sympany. In 2020, the company decided to revamp its data storage and significantly increase its data compression, working with Huawei and our partner, Belsoft Infortix. Needing expanded storage both today and in the future, Sympany worked with Huawei, and our partner, Belsoft Infortix, opting for the OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage solution. Installed in just two days, this solution is delivering outstanding performance — achieving a data compression ratio of 4.6 to 1 — along with scalability for the future.
While many of us take access to banking for granted, 1.7 billion people around the world are still unbanked. However, mobile banking is changing this — allowing those who could not access transaction accounts in the past to store, send, and receive money with ease. Of course, more bank accounts lead to more transactions and generate — you guessed it — more data.
Huawei is actively working with banks across the world, and particularly those in countries with developing economies, to support the new wave of financial inclusion. Not only do banks need more efficient storage, they also need secure solutions that are cost-effective and flexible, allowing them to easily adapt to future trends, and ultimately open financial services to more people.
Faster Uninterrupted Services
With more services comes higher expectations. Users want services at their fingertips that are available immediately. One industry that has seen a massive shift towards real-time transactions is trading, where the smallest delay can make or break a sale. This has also created a host of new opportunities on the market.
For example, Serbia-based EuroPoint provides its clients with fast and accurate data from various stock exchanges along with news and trading platforms. This means that they need to obtain and deliver information in near real-time, and latency (or delay in receiving that information due to network performance) is a key factor in their IT planning. OceanStor Dorado 3000 V6 offers latency as low as 0.05 ms thanks to technologies like Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe), Flashlink intelligent algorithms, and more, making it the ideal choice for EuroPoint.
The company also needed to securely migrate their data without service interruptions — a common issue during upgrades. OceanStor Dorado’s intelligent software features help proactively identify 93% of faults and its reliability architecture ensures 99.9999% service availability, enabling EuroPoint to migrate its data smoothly.
The upgrade produced a 50% increase in speed and responsiveness; but most importantly, customers are significantly happier with EuroPoint’s services, enhancing retention and generating new leads.
The Push for Greener Business
Across industries, one trend rings true — companies need to get greener, and they need to do it fast. Data centers are power-hungry monsters, consuming an immense amount of energy (and they are slated to consume even more as they store and process more data). That’s why both finance and tech industries are looking at ways to optimize data storage and increase the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) in data centers.
This process is complex and multi-faceted, involving real estate, space, location, cooling systems, energy consumption of all the different components involved in data storage, and so on. In this context, Huawei is taking strides to make our storage solutions and data centers greener. One of the technologies helping with that is AI.
AI algorithms help in a few ways. They drive smarter data analytics, meaning we can store only the data we need, both improving storage capacity and reducing the energy we need to store data. AI can also optimize energy consumption by intelligently evaluating patterns and requirements in ways manual processes can’t. And as data storage eventually becomes more energy efficient, it will place lower demands on temperature control.
As the next UN Climate Change Conference 2021 approaches (COP26), we must all make targeted efforts to optimize technologies for greener data processing and storage.
Across all industries undergoing digital transformation, those who think ahead will stay ahead of the game. The finance industry is no exception. Drawing on the power of cutting-edge technologies won’t just drive profits, it will also make the world a better place.
Join us to learn more about the latest trends in tech and finance at the HiFS Shanghai on June 3-4, 2021. See you there!