IBM study reveals tech challenges of the most regulated UK industries

IBM building

A new study by IBM has found that 45 percent of UK IT professionals and decision makers in highly regulated industries such as financial services view regulation and compliance as their biggest barrier to digital transformation, followed closely by data security concerns (43 percent).

However, IT leaders say compliance and security are also their key motivators for modernising, as businesses and government agencies face increased cyberthreats and policy changes.

The study, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of IBM, surveyed over 600 UK IT decision-makers and professionals working across financial services, telecommunications, and the public sector.

The findings indicate that, as organisations strive to balance innovation with security and compliance, 87 percent have already adopted or plan to adopt hybrid multi cloud IT architectures and a similar figure (88%) have already adopted or plan to adopt industry-specific cloud platforms to accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

The study also revealed that investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is a key part of the modernisation journey in financial services. Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents in the sector plan to modernise in the next five years by increasing use of AI and data analytics, and 41 percent intend to extend AI use to make customer services more personalised.

Howard Boville, head of IBM Cloud Platform, said: “Highly regulated industries are feeling pressure to transform with an ever-increasing rate and pace. But they must not move security, resiliency, and compliance to the backburner on their mission to modernize. This is especially critical for financial services, telecommunications and government, where regulations are changing rapidly as exposure to cyberthreats have escalated to unprecedented levels. As regulations continue to advance, it is critical for companies to avoid vendor lock in and adopt hybrid, multicloud strategies to achieve stability, keeping compliance and data privacy at the forefront.”

Prakash Pattni, managing director of financial services digital transformation at IBM Europe said: “The single most desired capability to accelerate innovation among the organisations we surveyed was being able to use a platform with built-in, automated compliance controls, cited by 49 percent of respondents. This is precisely why IBM has created clouds tailored for highly regulated sectors such as financial services, which offer the compliance controls and enterprise grade security these organisations require. The findings also highlight a strong interest in adopting open hybrid cloud architecture, which allows organisations to work with multiple cloud providers simultaneously – something the UK’s financial services regulators are keen to encourage to reduce risk in the system.”