Millennials in the Machine

Mobile Devices

Millennials are already beginning to establish modernising cultures, where they have risen to positions of significant influence or indeed, direct power, to make organisational changes that might have been unthinkable a decade ago.  The finance industry cannot but welcome Generation Alphas in the future, with open arms, as the pursuit of Alpha being its prime directive.  Maybe a once in a Millennium gift, or could it be the modern Trojan Horse?   Cloud adoption may not be a direct example of this but its support at Millennial levels is largely unquestioned, moreover being cited as long overdue.   

The worldwide engagement with smartphones, in their infancy, was still meteoric, despite limited app store content back then and despite perceptions surrounding lack of security and the consequent dearth of financial apps.  That's all changed with the staggering growth in mobile payments, albeit with significant regional differences, for example, between China (80%) and USA (10%), the latter whose existing infrastructure and card payments methods are still entrenched.  Mobiles appear to be determining the boundary of data delivery, to a portable device furthest away from source, encompassing laptops and tablets too.  This spectrum of personal devices now defines a new frontier for B2B services, where individual users in a business context, will accept content over form to provide them with actionable intelligence, especially from alternative data, social media interactions or observations, whose home is enduringly mobile, first and last.   

The capability of data services providers to both deliver to and gather data from mobile devices, is critical to perform their role in small data management, to feed their big data engines.  The traditional touch points in price discovery, for example, or in any crowd-sourced data profile, are powerfully augmented with this reach into financial market participants, which used to be an analogy for firms in the industry but now it can be a disaggregating term used to describe individual employees within firms.  Connecting to this diversity of sources and range of actions within an entity, will challenge management's ability to control the corporate message, without applying a slew of policies, both technical and contractual, which would stifle individual creativity and probably impair superior wealth generation. 

This front and centre wave of data fragmentation brings its own demands to deliver small data sets at mass scale, across geographies and challenging traditional commercial models, cast back in the days of whole universe feeds and bulk file transfer of data.  The convergence of mobile, infrastructure and financial technologies, is surfacing new opportunities for all types of users to acquire only the data they need to fulfil specific transactions within the scope of their operational processes.  At low levels of data consumption, data usage models are most likely be pay as you go, discrete for each transaction, rising to regular but on demand requests at mid level usage, whose model is most likely to be quota lead, monthly based subscription across prescribed usage bands.  

The extent to which these data service models can be applied vertically to markets, will determine the degree to which existing data service contracts will be challenged by larger users.  The capability to achieve the widest market application of fragmented data delivery, can be provided by the latent strands of complementary technologies, aligning to produce effective solutions.  This underpinning technology will allow new commercial models to be tested and proven and supported by the new generation workforce, in reflection of their modern paradigms of personal mobility applied to the create the modern workplace.  Like it or not, the Millennials are taking over the machine. 

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