“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” — Will Rogers
I can’t recall the first time I read this quote by American commentator Will Rogers, but I think it captures a key truth of business: in a changing marketplace, organisations need to keep moving to remain relevant to their customers. This truth is evident in the ongoing drive by IBM to reinvent and innovate over many years, particularly through periods of unprecedented change. These periods include the first automatic computing scale introduced in 1895 by the company that would later become IBM; the first completely transistorised commercial computer — the IBM 608 — introduced in 1955; and the cognitive computing and natural language intelligence of today’s IBM Watson.
The point of this axiom is that the same can be said of today’s buy-side firms. After all, the pace of change in the financial industry is comparable to that of the technology sector, as firms face the challenges of growth and attracting clients in an era of low — even negative — interest rates, sustained volatility and intense competition. In this marketplace, what do buy-side organisations need to keep moving, to remain relevant and competitive for their clients?