A new technology platform will more than likely be in place a decade from now, so choosing the right one is uniquely long-term decision. Likewise, changing tack mid-project could be prohibitively expensive and time consuming. So you really, really don't want to get it wrong.
Before you make your choice, answering the following 7 questions should at least put you on the right track to getting it right:
- What is your vision? What are your plans for the future of your bank in terms of growth, profitability, customer service, and reputation? Map out your end goal.
- How well do you know your customers? How is their behaviour changing? How and when will this impact you? Be sure you really understand your customers, their needs, and expectations.
- Who and where is the competition? What competitive threats will you face, including those from new and unconventional rivals? Be sure you are clear what is driving change in the market and how the competitive landscape likely to develop in the future.
- Does your proposed technology solution enable you to deliver against your short, medium and long term goals? Look for an open technology platform that allows you to adapt and move with the market.
- Can your infrastructure cope with the unexpected? What would happen if you needed to integrate a new mobile banking service, enter a new geography, or complete a merger? Ensure your technology can easily support you in a changing world.
- How will you redirect investment? If your bank's annual technology budget is currently spent maintaining existing systems rather than investing in innovation, then let's assume there are savings to be made with IT transformation.
- Who will lead the charge? A successful IT transformation project has to be a partnership between the IT department and the business. Yes, it's about technology - but it is also about business processes and overall IT architecture. You will need a strong leader that will be an advocate within the bank, a director able to partner with business and take everyone along with them, and a decision-maker to manage technological risk.
Your answers to these questions will help you build a robust picture of the needs of your bank ahead of, through and beyond your IT transformation