Investment banking major JP Morgan & Chase Co. has announced that analysts joining its asset management division should take up mandatory training in Python code. According to a Financial Times report, more than a third of the bank’s analysts have taken a coding programme.

According to the report, JP Morgan spends nearly $10.8bn on tech alone each year. Next year, the bank is expected to spend on enhancing capabilities in data science, machine learning and cloud computing.

A legacy investment bank like JP Morgan & Chase Co. expecting its employees to learn code is a sign of digitised times. And its not the only one – according to reports, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup too want its employees to be comfortable with coding, given the propensity of technology in banking today.

Jayakumar Venkataraman, financial services practice head at Infosys Consulting, says, “Every business leader should celebrate JP Morgan for making coding training mandatory for new asset management hires. Asking your asset managers to learn coding is a bold move – but boldness is much-needed and all too often avoided in pursuit of digital transformation. Training and developing these core technical skills is a major investment in the future of the company, enabling employees to lead major technological change across an organisation in a way that makes sense for the business.

The best businesses are those constantly questioning how new technologies can help solve their biggest challenges – getting employees on board is the icing on the cake. However, it might not be all about technical skills. Businesses must not forget the importance of softer skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and understanding how to apply insight to strategy, he added.

With the rise of automation and AI, we’re seeing human roles shift from functionary to visionary – but in an ideal workplace, the two work in tandem. Businesses need experienced professionals who are both functionary and visionary to lead tech-enabled change across a business. Leaders need to do more than just understand new technologies – they need to understand how these technologies can impact customers, employees, and the bottom line. This demands not only new skills, but also a shift in culture. Businesses who foster an atmosphere of innovation without losing focus on growth will pull ahead of the pack.

Using technology to re-imagine services, customer experience, and business strategy is what makes a business stand out and continue to thrive. Rather than keeping IT and business functions siloed, training asset managers to code brings technology together with strategy in a way that sets JP Morgan apart from the crowd, says Venkataraman.