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Tuesday, 17 January 2017 17:20

Skills shortage threatens to slow pace of Fintech innovation, warns The Bunker

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With research highlighting the digital skills deficit that the UK is currently facing, Fintech companies must be selective about the skills they employ in-house.

This is according to Phil Bindley, CTO at The Bunker, who argues that Fintechs should focus their attention on developing a great product, rather that the platform on which it is delivered.

As Innovate Finance, the body representing the Fintech sector in the UK, puts its plans together for the next “Big Bang”, research from Harvey Nash shows that 65 per cent of CIOs and technology leaders are suffering from a technology skills shortage. This deficit presents a real challenge for Fintechs, who may struggle to drive innovation without access to the relevant skills and talent.

For Phil Bindley, Fintechs have two choices when it comes to addressing this obstacle. They can either compete for the skilled staff needed to manage infrastructure internally. Or they can find a trusted partner who can help plug the skills gap by taking on this responsibility.

He commented: “There is undoubtedly a digital skills shortage in the UK and this is something that threatens to derail the pace of Fintech innovation. Companies within this space need a lot more than just software development skills to build the infrastructure that delivers digital financial technology services. This requires a number of skilled individuals that are currently in short supply, such as infrastructure experts, operating systems experts and digital security experts. As organisations continue to compete for a resource that is in short supply, they will need to make tough decisions about the skills they adopt in-house and what they decide to outsource.

“The companies that are really disrupting the financial industry are those that are ploughing their time and energy into innovative product development, as opposed to the management of infrastructure. Ultimately, Fintechs need to focus on making their products and software as great as they need to be to attract customers. Therefore, these companies will be wise to lean on a trusted service provider for the management of servers and infrastructure, in order to help bridge the skills gap.

“However, the financial services market is one that is highly regulated and this makes it essential for Fintech companies to conduct due diligence with regards to their outsourcing arrangements. Those using a Cloud Services Provider (CSP) must prove to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that they are not introducing any degree of risk to the financial services environment, so opting for a provider who has a pedigree in compliance and security is vital. Working with a CSP who has accreditations such as PCI DSS and ISO 27001 will alleviate the regulatory pressures that come with operating in this sector and can also provide a competitive advantage. But ultimately, working with a trusted provider will free up more time for innovation, which is what Fintech is all about,” concludes Bindley.

The Bunker is hosting a series of Fintech events, which bring together start-ups and experts to help shape the future of financial services. These events will foster long-term mutually beneficial relationships, designed to scale new business models into live products and services. Click here to register your interest: http://www.thebunker.net/event-listing/

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