Financial services veteran Julio Gomez, founder of Gomez, Inc. and former head of research at IDC Financial Insights, has been named general manager of Financial Services at Attivio, a provider of enterprisewide data analysis tools.
Gomez most recently ran Innovation Councils, a financial industry executive-level think tank that focuses on key issues facing the insurance, banking and capital markets spaces marketplace. The Innovations Councils roundtable meetings will continue as scheduled, says Gomez. Earlier in his career, Gomez was also an analyst with Forrester Research.
In an email interview with Wall Street & Technology, Gomez says he joined Attivio because of the growing usage of SaaS in the enterprise, and because financial firms have yet to solve the data integration and analysis problem. "Part of the analyst in me is focused on the next thing, which is clearly SaaS," he says. "But the consultant in me realizes that today's problems and many of tomorrow's problems don't need new business models as much as they need correctness. Enterprise software is correct for many of the most gnarly problems in the industry."
[Julio Gomez is a frequent contributor to Wall Street & Technology. To read one of his recent articles, visit: Wall Street's Top 3 Operational Concerns: Regulation, Cost Pressure, IT Talent .]
The "gnarly" problems, according to Gomez, include finding ways to access data across the enterprise and to use it effectively to solve real business problems. As an analyst and a consultant who has been in the industry for many years, Gomez continues to see firms struggle with data, despite massive efforts and expenditures. The problems are "the ones that build competitive advantage for the business and radically improve the flexibility and responsiveness of the IT organization," he says.
"Especially in financial services, where some of the best minds in IT are helping drive business value, there is a strong demand for technology platforms that help these leaders execute on their vision," Gomez continues. "The problems they need to solve come in many flavors and are wrapped sometimes in tech buzzwords, like Big Data, Cloud Computing, and Enterprise Data Management. But ultimately they come down to real KPIs that increase revenue and reduce cost."
Unfortunately, according to Gomez, data -- which should be solving these business concerns -- continues to get in the way. "What I've come to realize … in financial services, a common bogeyman is accessing the data sources," he adds. "These businesses run on accessing, ingesting, and processing data into something that makes or saves money. So if you can make that easier to do, you enable competitive advantage and create value."
"Financial institutions crave elegant solutions to prickly data problems that come up in every major initiative, from cloud computing, to big data to customer experience management," Gomez adds. "Attivio offers the level of sophistication and flexibility necessary for the highly complex, demanding and large-scale data environments in this industry."
It's no secret that financial firms continue to struggle when it comes to managing and analyzing data. Globally, financial institutions are grappling with big data, complex architectures and unstructured data analytics across the enterprise. In this new role at Attivio, Gomez will essentially be a technology "evangelist" and will work with the financial institutions to shape Attivio's technology solutions and help develop ways for financial organizations to realize greater return on their information assets.
"What’s fun for me is figuring out how this platform is best suited to the needs in financial services," Gomez says. "In a sense I am still in research, only I am collaborating with the industry on how to leverage a new technology. I am already engaging with industry leaders on how Unified Information Access, or UIA, will play a role in the architectures of tomorrow." According to Gomez, UAI, generally is a technology that allows applications real-time access to an ever-increasing number of data sources, including structured data and unstructured content.
According to Attivio, the vendor offers organizations the ability to integrate, correlate, access and analyze all types of enterprise content and data. The company's Active Intelligence Engine (AIE) can be used for improving customer satisfaction, enhancing sales enablement, managing regulatory compliance, improving call center and help desk KPIs and improving advanced analytics, according to Attivio.
"The importance of unified information access is becoming increasingly apparent to financial services organizations, most critically where it affects customer interactions, investment performance and risk mitigation,"said Ali Riaz, CEO of Attivio, in a press release. "Julio brings an unequaled depth of experience to our conversations and implementations in this critical sector."