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How to… rebuild your bank, part 1

By Mark Gunning 19 Aug 2016

Unless a bank has renewed its core banking system within the last ten years it's more than likely it would benefit from modern technology to put it on a stronger footing. In fact technology is the only way banks can achieve the reduced operating costs, a platform that supports future growth, the best means of improving the customer experience, greater agility to respond to risks and regulations, and (even) a more pleasant working environment for staff they need in order to survive

Yet a banking system renewal on any scale requires clear leadership and a smart strategy if a bank is to coordinate the interests, demands and concerns of the multiple stakeholders involved: customers, investors, and colleagues. In order to navigate and ensure the success of a system transformation project and the impact of the organisational change this will require, there are some basic points a bank will need to cover, including: business case definition, understanding the vendor marketplace, evaluating strategies for deployment, and managing implementation.

With these thoughts in mind I have written a couple of articles that summarise my thoughts, experience and advice on this topic. The first of which is below and was originally published by Banking Technology.


Planning for success: pre-transformation considerations are critical

It has been suggested that banks are becoming IT companies that happen to take deposits and make loans.

Whilst this is an obvious exaggeration there is no doubt for banks IT and IT projects are becoming increasingly critical to their success, yet a recent survey by Accenture found that only 6% of the directors of the world's largest banks have any IT experience.

IT and IT transformation projects are no longer confined to the IT department, but have a profound effect across an entire organisation. Given the potential impact on revenue, customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance, it's essential that banks conduct thorough planning and preparation in advance. According to Cognizant, 50% of core banking transformation projects only partially achieve their objectives; 25% achieve nothing. Before you start any major IT transformation, you need to carefully consider what you want to achieve and what your requirements are to ensure the greatest chance of success.

1. Define your goals

Before starting a large IT transformation it's essential to understand and agree what you want to accomplish – the business objectives, financial goals, and the requirements for users, customer experience, marketing, and data. What are you trying to achieve and what do your senior stakeholders in each of these departments need to gain? Knowing this will not only make sure you know where you are heading but will also give you a benchmark of what success means across the organisation.

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