The 3 most in-demand technology roles for financial services firms

By Robert Half on 8 July 2021

There’s no escaping the impact that technology is having on the financial services sector.

Most financial services firms have been on a transformative trajectory for some time, but unprecedented market forces during COVID-19 have only further accelerated the pace of change across the finance ecosystem – driven by the need for more practical solutions, internal and customer-facing.

According to a report by PwC, several technology forces are expected to shape competitiveness in the post-crisis environment including AI, customer intelligence, the public cloud, cyber-security, and mainstream digital experiences which span from customer experience and operational efficiency to big data and analytics .

Consequently, a rapid build of technical and innovative capabilities by hiring the right technology roles will be key.

Here are three technology roles that financial services firms are looking for this year and why they are important to successfully navigating a new digital future in the financial services sector.

1. Security Architect

A Security Architect designs, builds, tests, and implements security systems within a company’s IT network. Most importantly, as technology advances and new cyber-threats emerge, it is the responsibility of a Security Architect to continually identify areas of weakness in a firm’s IT network and anticipate potential security breaches with a view to maximising protection.

Reviewing existing security measures, designing enhancements, and managing system upgrade projects are key duties in the role, as well as establishing disaster recovery procedures and analysing security incidents.

Rapid digital transformation across the financial services sector is bringing many benefits to financial services firms and customers, but with this comes vulnerability to more risk. With increasing digitalisation, Security Architects are an essential technology role to protect the vast amounts of data handled by firms while also giving customers the reassurance and confidence they need to embrace innovative new solutions.

2. DevOps Specialist

The overarching goal of a DevOps Specialist is to facilitate seamless collaboration between a firm’s IT development and operations teams to maximise business productivity and performance.

In other words, it is all about breaking down functional silos between IT and the wider business to ensure new software products are released efficiently, safely, and deliver upon expected commercial and operational objectives.

Some of the most common tasks and duties include designing tools and processes for managing and updating infrastructure, automating workloads across multiple cloud providers, automating testing and deployment processes, and supporting internal and external stakeholders across platforms. Designing tools and protocols for improving user satisfaction is also an important part of the role, as well as addressing governance, risk, security, and compliance strategies.

DevOps Specialists are currently in high demand because they enable financial services firms to be more responsive to rapidly changing customer demands. Specifically, the tasks and duties of DevOps staff allow firms to roll out timely software releases and digital tools faster, more frequently, and without hassle as they race to stay competitive in the new FinTech-led environment.

3. IAM Engineer

With so much sensitive customer and company data being administered online, security of information is a top priority in the financial services sector – especially with rising cyber-security threats and increasingly strict data regulations.

After all, the more data that can be safely handled online, the more opportunities there will be to offer new and innovative ways of doing business digitally.

IAM (Identity Access Management) Engineers are playing a key role in financial services firms because they can help businesses provide authorised employees, customers, and stakeholders with access to information at any time and from anywhere.

As the job title suggests, IAM Engineers are responsible for all the IT frameworks and processes in a firm that manage and govern different parties’ access to data and resources. Crucially, IAM Engineers must be able to strike the right balance between creating a highly secure environment which never fails to prevent unauthorised access, while ensuring the right people always have fast access to the resources needed to complete tasks.

IAM Engineers are also seen as an efficiency driver in modern financial services firms because they help to automate identity recognition processes which have traditionally relied on human supervision, such as authenticating parties through biometrics. Enhancing the customer experience with secure self-serve options and improving business agility with greater reliance on cloud platforms are also top benefits of hiring IAM Engineers.

Key technology roles for the future

For so many financial services firms, technological advancement is proving to be one of the most disruptive forces which is inspiring finance technology roles, alternative business models and more innovative products and services.

Embracing technology in the financial services sector is necessary to unlock your business’ growth potential, but while speed-to-hire will be key to staying competitive, integrating new tech must always be done safely, efficiently, and in a highly organised manner, particularly to meet regulatory compliance standards.

By understanding these three most in-demand technology roles and how they can benefit your business, you’ll be able to make more informed and timely hiring decisions that support your strategic goals while minimising exposure to risk.

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