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Banks looking to achieve greater agility and flexibility in their product development, organizational design and customer experience capability should move beyond traditional application development. Designing multichannel capabilities into their IT architecture and infrastructure from the start, can help banks more rapidly address urgent regulatory requirements, accommodate business and technology change, and serve customers more effectively.
Technology development, such as web-based capabilities, service oriented architectures, cloud computing, and mobile and online channels have offered promise to banks struggling to keep costs in line while developing new services to support growth. In many cases, however, these technologies have not fulfilled their promise.
IT constraints represent near-universal frustration for financial services institutions, which see the potential for competitive advantage through innovation and multichannel services. Those business innovations require faster development from IT, a department often forced to spend most of its time keeping up with regulatory change.
Accenture believes that creating an IT function that is more agile and responsive to the business involves two parallel paths of activity.
Designing a more flexible enterprise architecture
One of the primary goals of a bank looking for agility should be to simplify fragmented organization structures. Banks can reduce silos by:
Implementing a modern enterprise architecture that supports delivery through multiple channels
Encouraging IT and the business to work together to separate how the business is managed from how capabilities are presented to individual channels.
Using rapid application development tools that can help create common assets to reuse across channels.
Leveraging a more flexible approach to application development
A multichannel approach can lead to an architecture with the flexibility to address future business needs. The following activities are important in supporting a more agile, competitive bank:
Confirm scalability and performance of the platform so it can run at an enterprise level.
Focus on platform independence, which mitigates the risks of being locked in to technologies.
Create an architecture that confirms interoperability of applications.
Leverage a strong user interface development capability.
Use an information/integration hub for development.
Savvy banks should focus on designing their business capabilities and IT architectures to be inherently agile. The number one objective has to be staying flexible to support the increasing demands of customers and rapidly changing needs of the business.
Customer channels will become richer and more diverse. As such, designing with diversity in mind will be increasingly important to success. Overcoming siloed environments that restrict the development of a diverse range of channels will also be key.
Banks that select the appropriate multichannel architecture, one with rapid development tools and prebuilt components, will have a significant competitive advantage.
March 27, 2013
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