This week’s tech news, filtered for financial services execs

August 8

Hello and welcome to Insights Distilled, the email briefing that more than 1,000 financial services leaders rely on for a dose of tactical tech news. We’ve just hit our one-year anniversary! Thank you for reading and being part of our community.  

This week’s edition is dedicated to insights from our just-published State of Enterprise Tech report, which is packed with exclusive data about enterprise leaders’ top priorities.  

Readers have told us that deep dives like this – and our previous features on GenAI and building successful fintech relationships – drive real value, so we’ll be delivering more of what you’ve asked for, moving forward: We’re transitioning from the weekly format to longer-form reports and exclusive research that will land in your inbox periodically.   

If you want a more hands-on relationship in the meantime, we recommend Insight’s IGNITE network, which offers enterprise executives unparalleled access to next-gen tech, investment perspectives, and a network of peers driving digital change. Learn more or reach out to financial services liaison Zak Sheer at for more information. 

Finally, to stay at the cutting-edge of the artificial intelligence revolution, attend our ScaleUp:AI conference this fall. We’re hosting luminary speakers like Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti, PayPal exec Hui Wang, the co-authors of the seminal “Attention Is All You Need” paper, and so many more – and we’re offering Distilled readers free digital tickets. 

If you’re interested in attending in-person in New York City, reach out to Jennifer Jordan at 

Now, let’s dive into the key findings from our State of Enterprise Tech report, which gives you insight into how your peers are thinking about their tech stacks. More than 70% of our 319 survey respondents are VP-level or above, with 52% representing C-Suite execs, and 35% specifically working in financial services. 

  1. Data stack success: MLOps tools are crucial for ensuring positive AI outcomes
  2. Budget burdens: Enterprises are looking for cybersecurity consolidation opportunities
  3. API appreciation: Engineers love working for firms that prioritize API-first development

Artificial intelligence budgets are surging – and MLOps tools are particularly in demand. 

59% of leaders reported an increase in their data and AI budgets in the past year, and, unsurprisingly, generative AI has become a key topi in every boardroom. 

The highest AI-related priority for respondents was investing in machine learning operations (MLOps) and modern data stack tools. Consolidating, aggregating, and organizing data – and ensuring strong governance – is crucial for unlocking AI use cases.  

“We are in the midst of a Cambrian explosion with AI,” according to Insight Partners’ managing director Nikhil Sachdev. GenAI, in particular, has become a hot topic in board rooms, he added.  

“Companies are eager to understand both the tremendous opportunities to improve products and drive efficiencies,” he said, “And the existential threats and security concerns.” 


The allocation of cloud security budgets is changing: Enterprises are deprioritizing innovation initiatives in favor of consolidation and operationalization of their existing stacks.  

Macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges have forced enterprises to review their budgets. A strong cyber position is crucial, so firms are focused on ensuring that they have sufficient coverage, while minimizing net-new tooling. 

We’re in the age of the cybersecurity platform.  

Robust providers that allow enterprises to cover their bases instead of buying multiple point-solutions, and that use automation to reduce risk and drive efficiency, are gaining traction. Security leaders are considering how they can consolidate.  

Meanwhile, Zero Trust Network Access tools topped the CISO priority list, the State of Enterprise Tech report found.  

“The transition to cloud and digitalization continues to be a core focus for enterprises, and is driving the attempts to ringfence cybersecurity budgets,” according to Insight managing director Steve Ward. “As the enterprise landscape changes, businesses can’t justify spending less on cybersecurity and leaving themselves in a potentially vulnerable position.” 


API-first development is revolutionizing software, and digitally mature survey respondents are ready to start utilizing APIs at scale, with 43% naming it a top priority this year.  

Engineers at API-first companies are happier and more productive – and generative AI will speed up the development process even more. 

API-first development is the future, according to the State of Enterprise Tech survey.  

Enterprises are relying on APIs to connect internal tools, and they’re starting to replace traditional information sharing methods like file transfers, database sharing, and email. 

“All services and AI models are becoming accessible through APIs, marking a transition towards an API-first economy,” according to the report. “And with generative AI’s ability to auto-generate APIs or software development kits, the adoption and value creation of generative AI – and the democratization of technology – can be unlocked at a much faster pace.” 

Meanwhile, a survey from Insight Partners’ portfolio company Postman found that developers at API-first companies are happier, ship code faster, eliminate threats sooner, and build better software.  

For many more data points and insights from your peers, download the full report here

Quick Bits:

Personnel news: After 36 years at Citigroup, Paco Ybarra plans to step down as CEO of the bank’s institutional clients group early next year. Meanwhile, RBC is hiring a head of climate transition, to help it achieve net-zero emissions goals and navigate its relationships and reputations.  

Also, Morgan Stanley’s next CEO is likely to be Ted Pick, who Insider describes as a “hard-charging deal-junkie.”  


Money moves: Knot, a platform that makes it easy for card issuers to switch customers’ saved payment methods, just raised a $10 million Series A, including from Amex Ventures, while hospitality commerce platform GoTab raised $18 million from Truist Ventures

Partnership power: HSBC is launching an embedded finance venture with fintech Tradeshift and American Express is launching Sync, an API integration which makes it easy for fintechs to offer B2B services to customers.


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