Disruptive Behaviour – A new definition that is changing the world

Nowadays the term ‘Disruptive behaviour’ being used in a positive light, but what does it actually mean?


Disruptive behaviour – a term that is becoming commonplace in business parlance has a modern definition distinctly dynamic in the modern world. Now, when I was at school this term was largely used as a negative, the kind of thing you didn’t want your parents to know you had been up to!

Nowadays however, we’ve seen the term ‘Disruptive behaviour’ being used in a positive light, particularly in regards to the finance sector and more so in finance technology or ‘FinTech’ as it’s becoming more commonly known as. We’ve been immersed by a wave of digital disruption which is beginning to re-shape the way the sector is and the way people look at finance in general. Having seen the emergence of online investment management companies, online banks, online lenders as well as transfer and payment companies, it begs the question, where to next? Not just the ‘FinTech’ scene but with traditional banks, investment managers, insurers etc. how will they or how are they combating the digital age? At the moment, the answer is they’re not, well, not effectively enough. Everyone has online banking, they’ve upgraded their websites etc. but are they really competing with the FinTechs out there now and how technically advanced they are?

I use the term ‘competing’ relatively loosely and at the risk of sounding contradictory, arguably banks have been digital for quite some time – as Bruce Jennings (Head of International Solutions and Strategy at FIS) wrote in his CityAM article in January “Banks have been inherently digital for decades- one could almost make the case that for a long time, banks have been part financial institution, part technology company”. A point which many of us forget, although the surge of FinTech ‘disrupting’ the sector and looking to in effect replace banking as we know it, they’re someway off, given the technology prowess banks have always had and will continue to carry in terms of their historical and robust systems and the ability to continue to attract talented technologists given their stature and reputations with delivery as well financial reward.

As a Consultant within the Technology team at specialist Recruitment Agency, Cogs, we’ve seen a shift in momentum in terms of where candidates’ priorities are when applying for jobs. Traditionally we have and still do work with the best digital & creative agencies around as well as leading brands all of whom tend to be leaders and sit at the forefront of web technologies, continuously looking to improve their tech stacks with the most recent frameworks and libraries and working with the most up-to-date CMS. However, since the FinTech disruption started to happen a couple of years ago more and more of the agency technologists are looking at the finance sector as an exciting and challenging area to be involved with. Not only does it offer excellent financial rewards but it sees it offer the chance to express yourself with technology, utilise skills and the chance to work with newer technologies whether that’s newer frameworks, libraries or platforms such as NodeJS, AngularJS, ReactJS, Bootstrap, Backbone, Meteor among others.

Disruption isn’t just happening across the finance sector but also in terms of hiring as well as people searching for jobs. Even though the buzz words of 2015/2016 are ‘Disruptive’, ‘FinTech’ and ‘Behaviour’, there’s a way to go before a complete industry shift is made, but it has definitely started.

The term ‘Behaviour’ has many different connotations and how it’s used; it’s widely used in an analytical sense but again meaning different things such as how somebody uses a website, the behaviour of consumers across social media, and the way people use a product etc. But, it’s being used as a predictive tool, yes analysis and insight is a key part of this but then it’s what you do with that data that matters, within Finance (or FinTech) Enterprise Behavioural Analytics is becoming more and more prominent to improve performance across the finance sector improving decision making as well as risk management.

The introduction of Biometrics is playing a key part in statistical analysis and computer security, two things which is key within the world of finance. Biometrics is basically an authentication scheme focussing on personal characteristics such as finger prints and facial recognition; companies such as Apple Pay & Samsung Pay are leading the way.

Certainly there’s more to FinTech and the disruption that is happening within the finance sector as a whole but also that it is something to be acutely aware of now. The world of finance and business as is ever changing; the presence of digital is getting stronger day by day which in turn causes ‘disruptive behaviour’ within most institutions, the way they see their future and how they go about changing their ways. Perhaps this movement gives others the chance to update their tech and modernise their way of working, either way it’s a trend which is looking to continue to grow and exceed expectation.

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