Ivan Gowan: A Visionary of Disruptive Technology

Being the CEO of Capital.com, Ivan Gowan began his career as a software developer and has always been interested in the latest technological advancements and innovative approaches. He has also been involved in building mobile apps that have real transactional value for a long time. Throughout his career, Ivan has always been interested in how technology can create an intelligent customer experience.

Leading from the Front

Prior to Capital.com, Ivan has worked at IG Group for 15 years, leading the IT development department in building market leading trading platforms. During his time at IG Group, Ivan helped to transform the company from a predominantly phone-based business into a global market leader in CFDs and spread betting which saw the company’s market cap rise from £255m to £3bn.

In his current role as the CEO of Capital.com, Ivan is heavily involved in the details around product design and user experience. He ensures that the company is hiring people with the right skills to develop the latest innovations. The company is investing deeply in machine learning, AI and automation because the CEO believes that these are the best tools to create a personalized experience and provide the right education to the customers.

Solutions That Empower the Customers

Ivan believes in providing the best possible user experience through his apps: Capital.com and Investmate.  Within the Capital.com app, its ‘SmartFeed’ function, powered by fast-learning AI technology delivers tailored news feeds, analysis, and research materials based on users’ in-app behavior. By analyzing users’ activity in real-time, the SmartFeed function is also able to identify common trading biases and behavioral patterns. The team found this particular function to be not only incredibly useful for customers, but also accurate in its analysis and recommendations of targeted educational content.

Ivan has also recently launched ‘Investmate’; an educational app which is aiming to educate one million people on the basics of finance through this platform, providing people with the knowledge and tools they need to become successful retail investors. Through this app, Ivan is taking really dense subject matters and making them accessible, engaging and fun through bite-sized information and gamification.

Shaping of a Journey

Many years ago, Ivan had strong convictions that mobile and java technology would be the future and being an early adopter of these had a huge impact on his success.

During his time at IG, market events that impacted clients also shaped Ivan’s approach to make tough decisions of either opting for short term profits or longer term sustainable growth that is supposed to align with the customers. Ivan expresses his pride while saying that Capital.com has recently become the first CFD provider to be fully compliant with ESMA regulations. The company has achieved this by reducing the leverage limits it offers, continuing its culture of guaranteeing fair client outcomes, compliance with all relevant regulations and a dedication to responsible trading. Capital.com’s approach with early ESMA compliance is an example of, when one goes for strategic perspective, rather than for short term goal.

Triumph over Challenges

Ivan understands that for every tech strategist, a major challenge is to convince non-technologists and business people about the benefits of investment in technology. Ivan has managed to do so and the results are quite visible.

Additionally, managing large teams of engineers can cause challenges because they’re often overly optimistic in what they can achieve within a time-frame; therefore, managing expectations is the key solution.

Take on Tech Strategist’s Roles

Ivan states that the roles of tech strategists have moved from being focused on operational efficiency and cost reduction to being focused on solving customer problems and growing revenue. There has been a huge shift towards customer centricity offerings which is great to see. Going forward, he believes blockchain will change the back office and lead to many disruptive business models, and automation will transform customer engagement.

Ivan considers that every tech strategist should be striving to solve a real problem with an effective solution. Too many companies’ come up with solutions before validating them with the target audience but he believes that it should be the tech strategists who should keep this on track.

Another trait a tech strategist should possess is the need to be able to build the right team; with the right skills to achieve their objectives. Aspirants should be open and transparent, instilling a culture that encourages the above principles along with innovation.

With Experience comes Insight

For emerging tech strategists, Ivan Gowan cites that, “The most essential thing is to make sure that you’re adding value with your proposition and solving a problem. This should always be in front of your mind and you can do this through making sure that you have your mission clearly defined and understand what the core competencies of your business are.”

Something what’s also vital, but often overlooked by technologists is the ability to convey information to business people. Tech enthusiasts should ensure that they understand business strains and know which information needs to be communicated to the customers.

Coping with the Future

Capital.com’s primary goal is to make the most personalized, user friendly, easy to use trading platform. The team believes that they already have a great platform and are constantly working on adding new features.

Capital.com has exciting plans to develop the app internationally, expanding into new jurisdictions, whilst at the same time building and enhancing the trading platform.

Source :-The 10 Most Influential Tech Strategist of 2018