Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Elevating IT in financial services

28-Mar-2018
Elevating IT in financial services
CIOs of major banks and financial institutions are today facing a task equivalent to the feeding of the five thousand. While IT systems in the past have always grown, it was comparable to making one casserole for four people stretch to six when two uninvited guests showed up for dinner. Now hundreds of people are coming for food, all day, every day, and they all want different meals, at different times of the day.

This barrage of meal requests is like the complex needs of the staff and customers of a modern-day bank or building society – the challenge is leveraging the power of Big Software. How to learn about it, manage it and deploy it for a variety of use-cases.

Scalability is critical and costs must be kept down, so choosing between public clouds or building your own, all while keeping data secure and systems (including legacy or home-grown ones) interoperable, is the ultimate goal.

Open source has long been a part of these complex IT infrastructures, but with customer data security of the utmost importance (and so heavily regulated) how can financial service providers take advantage of the latest software engineering expertise, protect customers and still maintain a cost-effective operation?

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, what has become clear is that IT departments need to be the ones leading these strategic conversations.

Banking on software
It’s no secret that, amidst changing regulations, mounting customer expectations and increasing competition from a plethora of fintech start-ups, the banking sector is experiencing some serious disruption.

Financial services has quickly become a software-driven industry. Customers are demanding innovation and want to be able to interact with their chosen bank at a time that suits them, across a combination of both online and offline channels.

This means banks have to be prepared to change how they operate and embrace the era of Big Software through the likes of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), big data, cloud, containers and microservices. If they don’t, they will likely be overtaken by faster and more innovative competitors.

The introduction of Open Banking has also played a key role in this shift. Open Banking refers to the use of open APIs (Application Programming Interface) that enable third-party developers to access UK banks’ customer data and build applications and services on top.

It is heavily dependent on the use of open source software and, with 99% of payment executives saying their bank plans to make major investments in Open Banking by 2020, will likely be an integral part of the future of financial services.

The challenge is that although these technologies present several opportunities, they also bring complexity. Where applications used to be relatively contained and simple to manage, they now have to be rolled out across hundreds or thousands of on-premise and hosted physical and virtual machines.

Not only does all this have to be accomplished as cost-efficiently as possible, with the right mix of products, services and tools to match the requirements of the business, customer data also has to be kept secure.

To address these issues, organisations have to realise the importance of the IT department in enabling innovation while also ensuring security and business continuity.

Raising the bar for IT
The position of IT across all industries, not just financial services, has been significantly elevated as the Big Software revolution has continued to take hold.

Indeed, many IT departments now enjoy strategic recognition, rather than simply being consigned to supportive, back-office functions. For example, in a recent Brocade survey 97% of respondents recognised the IT department as important to enabling their organisation to innovate and grow, highlighting how IT teams’ knowledge is now frequently tapped into when it comes to shaping strategic direction.

However, there are still challenges that need to be overcome, with nine in ten (91%) IT Decision-Makers (ITDMs) saying there are issues preventing their IT department from delivering on business demands. For example, IT departments often spend large proportions of their time maintaining data security (73%) and legacy systems (63%) which will restrict the time they have available to innovate and digitally transform their organisations.

For those banks that haven’t yet realised the value of IT, now is certainly the time to do so. Technology has already transformed business processes in financial services and, with the growth of Big Software and Open Banking, having access to a robust IT infrastructure that leverages the capabilities of these technologies is only going to increase in importance.

As such, the emphasis for IT teams is now geared more towards building platforms that enable banks to innovate and solve specific business problems, rather than simply keeping the lights on.

With their ability to understand the business value of technology, IT departments can bring a huge amount of value to strategic boardroom discussions. Given the widespread disruption opportunities available to fintech startups, this expertise could prove invaluable.

It’s no secret that technology has significantly changed the way banks and financial institutions work and will continue to do so over the coming years as the momentum behind Big Software grows.

IT teams, therefore, are perfectly positioned to understand these latest digital trends and in turn use cutting-edge innovations to solve their organisation’s specific needs.

App Insights: How can artificial intelligence innovate supply chain management?
1 week ago
Managing Technological Change Without any Supply Chain Disruption
1 week ago
Moody’s Blues for House of Fraser; but Website Failings are Just as Damaging
1 week ago
Artificial Intelligence: What’s Now And Next In IoT-driven Supply Chain Innovation
2 weeks ago
Indiana Jones and the supply chain bullwhip effect
2 weeks ago
How Enterprise Labeling Helps You Conquer Regulatory Challenges
2 weeks ago
3 Tips for Empowering Millennial Warehouse Workers
2 weeks ago
More robots means easier delivery - but what about the infrastructure?
2 weeks ago
Safety in the warehouse: Five key risk areas for 360-degree protection
3 weeks ago
Automotive resilience, not just airbags and crash tests, but IT too
3 weeks ago
New High Street panel is facing a race against a terminal diagnosis
3 weeks ago
Delivering the supply chain revolution
3 weeks ago
A market of one: the potential of the personalized supply chain
4 weeks ago
5 EIS rules you are probably not aware of
4 weeks ago
TMS: an enterprise priority
1 month ago
Labeling Solutions for Global Expansion
1 month ago
Prime Day will be a $1.6bn loss-leader creating millions more Prime members, says e-commerce expert
1 month ago
Say what? The new possibilities of voice and machine driven retail
1 month ago
‘Peak faith’ in the cloud only 12-18 months away with slump to follow, warns 6point6 Cloud Gateway
1 month ago
As you were for UK manufacturing sector, but new business growth at three month high
1 month ago
Back to IoT basics: Automating outcomes to improve customer experience
1 month ago
Investigation of the "Fast Fashion" impact
1 month ago
Redefining Rental for Materials Handling Equipment
1 month ago
With the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP Creates “A Completely Different Kind of Flexibility”
1 month ago
The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link
1 month ago
How to Streamline Labeling in the Pharma Space
1 month ago
‘A revolution happened in the way we buy services last week – and no one has noticed!’
1 month ago
Hot Topics at GS1 Connect? Labeling, Blockchain and More
1 month ago
Retailers must Embrace Change
1 month ago
Labeling Solutions That Bridge Islands of Data
2 months ago
My Journey to the World’s Most Important Gathering of Supply Chain Leaders
2 months ago
Workforce of the Future
2 months ago
Securing your supply chain against political uncertainty
2 months ago
On-demand warehousing could help retailers score big this summer
2 months ago
Half of organisations set for major procurement and supply chain AI investment within two years
2 months ago
Brexit, the weather & online shopping: How Britain’s favourite conversations are shaping supply chains
2 months ago
The Road to Regulatory Compliance for Your Supply Chain Labeling
2 months ago
The War on Packaging
2 months ago
Five data dramas that keep your CIO awake at night
2 months ago
As sales fall new report finds many department stores’ websites suffer from clunky integration and poor delive
2 months ago
Got Your Surfboards Ready to Master the Wave of Digitalization?
2 months ago
TrustArc to Offer IAPP Privacy Core® GDPR Training to Address Compliance Requirements
2 months ago
The Market has never been Stronger for Horizontal and Vertical API Platforms
2 months ago
Selecting the best Transport Management System - One of the most important logistics decisions you’ll make
2 months ago
“Digital Transformation” and Supply Chain Planning
2 months ago
Coolest Advice for Making Blockbuster IoT Devices?
2 months ago
The Fall of ‘Made in China’
2 months ago
How can artificial intelligence help the food industry?
3 months ago
Streamlining Operations With Waveless Picking
3 months ago