Mobility, what for? I have the feeling that we’re all dazzled by the growth figures of smartphones, apps and tablets sales, and we moved quickly in that direction with the message; as the clients are moving there we have to be there. Is this enough to succeed? Probably not. Obviously mobility offers new opportunities, but we shouldn’t forget that markets are people, and people were out there long time before the first mobile device was even designed. We’re definitely moving into a new Banking era (financial crisis makes it clear every day), with efficient management of Capital and Liquidity as the main driver of the transformation, and mobility has some answers for aligning Banks in the direction of the new paradigm. Mobility offers a direct channel for exchanging massive amount of data between the market and the decision center of Capital and Liquidity management in a Bank, without intermediaries and in real time. This is a great achievement but it means nothing by itself. Data is useless unless supports decisions making, data has to evolve in information and knowledge. It’s only at this point when data becomes valuable.
Let me give you an example;
Clients, both Retail and Corporate have their own forecast of incomes and expenses (inflows or outflows) and plan their investment/saving/consuming activities, consciously or unconsciously according this forecast. These individual forecasts (and the aggregation of them) are very important for the liquidity managers of the bank, as the bank’s liquidity requirements are impacted by the behavior of its clients. Mobility can provide the data but the bank’s information system needs to be ready to process the data and transforming it in relevant information for the liquidity planners.
At the end, the answer is integration; only integrated systems are capable of building communication channels with common semantics between the periphery and the core of the system. This is a mandatory requirement for converting data in information. In my opinion, SAP, with 40 years of experience in building integrated Information Systems is in a privileged position for offering the holistic vision that the efficiency paradigm requires.
Mobility will be a very important element of the transformation, but we have to move the focus of the strategy, from volume of data to relevancy of the information.
Looking forward to read your opinions.