Future-proofing a business is a complex process, which involves saving money, optimizing processes, or developing a strong team. However, fintech managers play a big role in future-proofing a fintech company. The skills they develop can impact business trajectory, and in turn the state of the business in the future.
So what skills should fintech managers invest their time and money in?
What capabilities make them better at running a fintech business?
Let’s explore possible answers to these questions.
Data Analysis Is Crucial
Data analysis is a great skill to have for any business. It helps managers understand the company, the market, and opportunities at a deeper level, and make informed business decisions accordingly. Matured companies might have employees, or even entire departments, focused on data gathering and analysis, so the job of a manager won’t always be to crunch the numbers. But a robust understanding of data analysis is crucial, because the final decision usually lies with them.
Fintech is a medium with an even more pronounced reliance on data. It’s an important aspect to the disruptive power of fintech. The customer needs and market intricacies are usually more complex, so proper data analysis can lead to more success. With new technologies like machine learning, or systems like open banking data making their way in the fintech market, data analysis is bound to become even more important. If fintech managers want to future-proof their business, data analysis is a skill they should invest in.
Knowledge Of Financial Services
A deep understanding of the medium someone is active in is always fruitful. This is especially true for managers. As a key decision maker, managers have a duty to navigate the market they’re in with ease. Besides helping with decision making processes, it’s also a good thing to have to develop innovative products.
And it’s especially important for fintech managers to have a deep understanding of financial services. The finance and banking industries have a long history, and a reliance on complex metrics. Not to mention, they have drastically different regulations all across the globe.
Knowledge of these things, and financial services as a whole, enables managers to achieve more, and prepare a business for the future. Moreover, this helps them identify opportunities and threats as they come up in their market.
Some people might posit that a “knowledge of financial services” is not necessarily a skill. By a strict definition of the word, that’s probably true. But a true understanding of financial services can only come from work, and experience, both of which fintech managers should invest more in. At least if they want to future proof a business.
We haven’t published this article to point out the obvious. Of course communication skills are important for managers. But this is still a worthwhile point to make.
For starters, fintech provides so many opportunities that it attracts people from a myriad of backgrounds. A lot of startup founders in the fintech scene have extensive knowledge of product development and programming, because they bootstrapped everything from the beginning. But that doesn’t guarantee they’ll be a successful leader for their company. The soft skills that have been the staple of good management for decades are just as important in fintech.
And they might even be more important in fintech. That’s because valuable fintech products require interdepartmental efforts to create, and go-to-market with. To manage teams of people from extremely diverse backgrounds, and get them working together towards a common goal – all of that requires flawless communication skills.
The same principle can apply to other traditional, soft skills needed in managers:
A Good Understanding Of Cybersecurity
Mixing the financial sector with technology can present new cybersecurity risks. Even if new technologies or systems don’t have particular exploits, classic breaches can be 10 times worse in fintech. Endangering someone’s name and address can already be catastrophic, and it’ll only get worse if their financial information gets out as well. Cybersecurity is crucial in fintech. Moreover, big banking and financial institutions pay close attention to cybersecurity and privacy-minded solutions, because a breach at that scale can be even more problematic.
With new technologies like open banking data, or increased transparentization in the lending sector, privacy will become even more of an issue in fintech. Managers that want to future-proof their business should invest in a good understanding of cyber security.
Software Development: Is It Crucial?
Similar to any other market dominated by startups, software development is an important part of any fintech business. It’s the process by which products are usually developed, and a good manager will understand its particularities.
Fintech managers can do their job without a good understanding of software development. A rudimentary grasp is good enough to communicate with investors, drive growth inside the company, and oversee production.
But for managers that want to make sure their business is future-proofed, a stronger grasp on the subject is needed. Fintech solutions have always been complex, and with new technologies or principles, they’re bound to increase in complexity. Fintech managers that especially focus on machine learning and AI can enhance the future of their business.
How Should Fintech Managers Invest In These Skills?
When managers approach new skills, especially if it’s to future-proof a business, consistency is most important. Managers shouldn’t strive to master communication, data analysis, or software development overnight. They’re all complex fields, sometimes more complex than it looks at first sight. Small, consistent time investments in these skills are enough to prepare them for the future.
As far as the mechanism for learning, we can’t really recommend a path to skill mastery. Different approaches work for different people. Online courses, masterclasses, and coaching with a specialist can all help. To develop skills that future proof their business, fintech managers should find their own path to mastering skills.