With 2017 well underway, it seems like a good point to pause, reflect and take stock. In the past year, we have experienced historic changes, setting a new precedent. Brexit, the Trump election and 0%-interest rates being some of the most notable. At the same time, 2016 saw the continued race towards a digital future. While it may not have grabbed as many headlines, the impact of digital on our daily lives could be the most profound change of all.

When IT became part of the mainstream in the 1990s – in the first wave of digital disruption – there was much speculation about what changes it would bring. Hallmarks included concerns that jobs would be replaced by computers; information on paper replaced by shiny new email; and established business models being rapidly usurped by young Internet upstarts. All sound somewhat familiar? Fast forward a few years and many think we are on the cusp of something similar. The FinTechs have really come through to embrace the potential of emerging technologies such as Blockchain, Machine Learning and other disruptive new forces.

The culmination of many technologies is reaching a point of understanding and fit to enable unique platforms that can challenge how the world of finance functions. By combining robo-advisors, cloud, deep learning, sentiment analysis and predictive analytics, we can rethink the way systems are built and offer consumers a fresh, revolutionary experience. This is especially compelling when it revolves around money, the cultural lifeblood of western society. How can payments and lending become as naturally embedded in human behavior as eating and breathing?
We envision a future where Blockchain's distributed ledger technology will increasingly form the new digital financial framework. The global market for trade will be digital, and robo-advisers, powered by Machine Learning, will fuel a digital workforce to manage our finances.
As 2017 progresses, we can expect to see more collaboration between technologies as digital development undergoes continued convergence and evolution. Whatever stage of the digital journey you find yourself at, we hope you’ll get as much enjoyment from this issue as our team of experts did in writing about their insights and experience.

This blog is taken from Tech Spark, our thought leadership publication focused on Digital Disruption within Financial Services. You can download the full publication here: https://excelian.luxoft.com/techspark/