Technology continues to grow at an exponential rate; the world we are born into is destined to look nothing like the one we leave behind. Back in 2001, futurist Ray Kurzweil hypothesized that "We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate)." That was 17 years ago!
Now, constant innovation is expected and only the most forward-thinking manage to deliver innovation successfully. Recently, our intimate invitation-only M&A Networking events brought together the top dealmakers in London to celebrate the launch of our new application for due diligence, Merrill DatasiteOne. During the events, our innovative FinTech was demonstrated live and attendees experienced what progress looks like first-hand.
Alongside Merrill DatasiteOne, technology journalist Rory Cellan-Jones also unveiled four technology trends that have proven and continue to disrupt the Financial Services domain, fast-growing technologies that outperform both their predecessors and those that utilise them.
- The smartphone revolution
Smartphone technology is a revolution that has changed the way we live. Now information is at your fingertips and speed is essential. The ease of installing and using mobile apps has resulted in users driving organisations to apply “mobile first” design techniques. This revolution has had an extraordinary period of disruption with industries like photography, journalism and transport grappling with the impact. Though the financial industry has proven remarkably resistant to this change, we at Merrill have listened to our customers’ feedback and are building deal-making technology solutions mobile first.
- Social media
The proliferation of social media means that people engage daily in both local and global conversations about everything from world events and personal lifestyle to brands and epic fails. The need to instantly collaborate and share is immense and is one of the reasons why when we engineered Merrill DatasiteOne, the creation of a slick and intuitive Q&A feature was essential for enabling deals to be completed faster.
- Big data – the data gold rush
Data is “the new oil”. As we have seen from recent news events, those with vast amounts of data who are smart enough to know what to do with it, are able to realise substantial revenues. Conversely, if data leaks it can cause a great deal of mess and distrust. We are all generating vast amounts of data through our internet connected devices. Knowing how to manage and securely handle all this data is crucial and should be a given for any technology provider. But beyond this, utilising data to be able to drive innovation and predict changes in the market is what helps to build market leaders. Our latest analytics dashboard highlights all the activity happening within the data room, putting data at the fingertips of deal markers and providing valuable insights that help drive and close deals faster.
- Artificial Intelligence
From driverless cars to warehouse robotics, AI has been one of the buzzwords of the last few years and the technology has come a long way. But by itself, AI isn’t an effective tool - it needs to have real problems to solve. Natural language processing and heuristics is a form of AI that can be applied in an interesting way to resolve different problems. At Merrill, this is exactly the type of machine learning our new technology has employed to solve unique customer challenges. We are continuously investing to utilise this brilliant innovation for all aspects of deal-making.
Technology continues to push the boundaries and disrupts not only business practices and the way we work but also the way we live. This year at Merrill Corporation, we will continue to push the boundaries to create an innovative suite of technology that will challenge and change the way M&A is done leaving you with more time to enjoy your social media!