Skip to main content

Revolutionizing Financial Services with AI: Harnessing Speed and Real-Time Data in the Cloud

John Trapani, Industry Leader, Financial Services, Appian
June 18, 2024

In today's financial services landscape, the need for speed is paramount. Traditional financial processes are no longer sufficient to meet the demands of modern consumers and businesses. 

The synergy of three emerging technologies promises to expedite financial services processes:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)

  • Real-time data access

  • Cloud computing

AI use cases in the financial services industry

With the advent of AI, financial institutions can now leverage cutting-edge technologies to streamline their operations and enhance efficiency.

One of the key advantages of AI in financial services is its ability to process vast amounts of data at lightning speed. Machine learning algorithms can analyze market trends, detect anomalies, and make split-second decisions that would be impossible for humans to replicate.

Here are some examples of how AI can be utilized in financial services and banking:


  • Know Your Customer (KYC). KYC is a legal requirement for financial institutions to know who their customers are before they work with them. But a time-consuming KYC process takes up employees’ time and can alienate customers. AI can streamline processes by automating identity verification, analyzing vast amounts of customer data to detect suspicious activities or inconsistencies, and continuously updating customer profiles based on evolving risk factors.
  • Credit scoring and risk assessment. AI algorithms can analyze a wide range of factors, including transaction history, credit scores, and socioeconomic data, to assess creditworthiness and determine the risk associated with lending to individuals or businesses. This enables financial institutions to make more accurate lending decisions and manage their risk exposure effectively.

  • Personalized financial advice. AI-powered robo-advisors analyze customer financial data, investment goals, and risk tolerance to provide personalized investment advice and portfolio management services. These platforms can offer tailored investment recommendations, rebalance portfolios, and optimize asset allocations based on individual preferences and market conditions.

  • Predictive analytics for investment management. AI algorithms analyze historical market data, economic indicators, and news sentiment to identify trends and forecast future market movements. These insights help investment managers make informed decisions, optimize investment strategies, and maximize returns for their clients.

  • Automated underwriting. AI-powered underwriting systems streamline the loan application process by automating the assessment of borrower risk. These systems can analyze applicant data, such as income, credit history, and employment status, to make faster and more accurate underwriting decisions, reducing the time and cost associated with loan origination.

These are just a few examples of how AI is transforming financial services and banking and driving innovation, efficiency, and improved customer experiences across the industry.

The AI Handbook for Financial Services Leaders

Get tools, tips, and tactics for mastering AI in banking and finance.


Real-time data: The currency of the future

Access to real-time data has become a cornerstone of modern finance. Gone are the days of relying on stale information to make critical decisions. Today, financial institutions require up-to-the-minute insights to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

But financial services institutions have complex IT environments where data is often siloed or of poor quality. Frequently, IT teams are resource-strapped, so they may be lacking the in-house talent to gather worthwhile insights. And even with all the technology options available to help, it’s easy for information collection to spiral out of control with so many disparate systems involved.

Data fabric is an architecture layer and tool set that connects data across disparate systems and creates a unified view. It is a virtualized data layer—meaning you can access data without migrating it from where it currently lives, say, in a database, enterprise resource planning system, or customer relationship management application. The data may be on-premise, in a cloud service, or in multi-cloud environments.

The Data Fabric Advantage:

De-Silo Your Data for Rapid Innovation

Learn how you can harness the power of your data to efficiently create powerful, data-driven solutions—without the need for data transformation or migration.

By implementing a data fabric, financial institutions can break down silos, enabling data to flow freely across the organization. This facilitates real-time insights and decision-making and empowers teams to collaborate more effectively and drive innovation across the enterprise:

  • Employees have the real-time data they need to make better, faster decisions. 

  • Developers no longer wait weeks or months for migrations before creating new applications. 

When a data fabric is used as an architectural layer, it can make, create, and keep data connections working without needing specialized experts like data scientists or database administrators to maintain the technology at every single stage.

Pair this with AI, and a data fabric becomes an even more powerful tool by enabling the seamless integration of real-time data into financial processes. By leveraging advanced analytics and predictive modeling, AI systems can anticipate market movements, identify emerging trends, and provide actionable insights in real time. This empowers financial professionals to make informed decisions with confidence, maximizing returns and minimizing risks.

Harnessing the power of the cloud

To fully realize the potential of AI in financial services, organizations must embrace the cloud, which provides the scalability and flexibility needed to deploy AI applications at scale without the limitations of traditional on-premises infrastructure.

By housing AI services in the cloud, financial institutions can access vast computational resources on-demand, enabling them to process large volumes of data in real time. This allows for faster decision-making, reduced time-to-market, and greater agility in responding to changing market conditions.

Since we’re in such nascent stages of AI technology and the regulatory environment will continue to adapt and change, you want an environment with flexibility. The cloud, with its  microservices and scalability, is the solution.

And hosting services in the cloud are also more secure compared to traditional data centers due to cloud providers’ robust infrastructure, which includes state-of-the-art security measures such as encryption, access controls, and continuous monitoring. Cloud providers also usually have dedicated teams focused solely on ensuring the security of cloud environments. And they often adhere to stringent compliance standards and certifications, reassuring businesses that their data and applications are protected.

As the pace of change accelerates, those who embrace AI will emerge as leaders in the digital economy.

Watch the fireside chat:

De-Silo Your Data for Rapid Innovation with AI

to understand why AI, cloud, and data fabric are the perfect combination for shaping the future of finance for years to come.