The International Securities Association for Institutional Trade Communication (ISITC) revealed Tuesday results of its annual member survey of global financial industry plans for 2016.

The industry group’s research found that 62% of firms see investment in technology as a top area of focus in 2016-2017, citing increased interest in blockchain and cybersecurity technology. Specifically, 55% of firms are monitoring, researching or already developing solutions for blockchain technology. 74% of firms have specific plans for investment to invest in improving cybersecurity, which is up from 57% in the previous year’s survey. The 2016 annual member survey polled 45 ISITC member firms from leading investment management firms, broker/dealers, custodians and solution providers.

This focus on new technology and innovation disrupting the financial services industry is the primary topic at the upcoming ISITC 22nd Annual Industry Forum and Vendor Show, where the theme is, “New Kids on the Block: Linking the Past to the Future of Financial Services.”

Additional survey results identified:

  • 82% anticipate no operational issues related to the move to a T+2 settlement cycle in 2017
  • 80% of firms see cost reduction as the biggest challenge for them in 2016/17
  • 63% of firms measure operations success on the ability to reduce risk and cost
  • 62% of firms named investment of infrastructure an area of operational focus in 2016

Jeff Zoller, Chair of ISITC and Vice President at T. Rowe Price, commented:

“New and emerging technologies have taken the financial services industry by storm. The results of our annual member survey confirm this sentiment, as firms plan increased investment in blockchain and cybersecurity technologies, as a method for combating long-term risk and cost. We look forward to continuing the dialogue around the challenges and opportunities these disruptive technologies bring to the industry at our March event in Boston.”

The ISITC 22nd Annual Industry Forum and Vendor Show will be held March 20-23, 2016 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel and marks ISITC’s 25th anniversary. Paul Vigna, author and markets reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and Michael Casey, author, Senior Advisor at MIT Media Lab, and former senior columnist at The Wall Street Journal, will be delivering the keynote address.