In the first part of this blog series, I explored how banks can get from their present state with potentially complex solution landscapes to the future state where technology helps satisfy customer and regulator expectations.  In this post, I’ll look at the top technology trends in the banking industry.

A recent study on banking innovation[1] summarizes the results of extensive research and in-depth interviews with banking and regulatory authorities. When asked which technology trends are most important for the future, 65% of respondents said:

Mobile technology is the most important trend

Banks are truly embracing mobile as a strategy for customer engagement. But a high percentage of the world’s banks are still running on legacy systems that are no longer fit for purpose. The mobile solutions they offer simply mirror the complexity and limitations of their back-end software – and this is hurting their competitive advantage.  To put it bluntly, getting out-of-date, inconsistent data from sunset back office batch systems is not going to cut it for customers, no matter how attractive the on-device presentation. 

Mobile technology has allowed a lot of new entrants into the banking market. These newer banks are not encumbered by complex legacy software environments. They’ve been able to enter the market with very intuitive, on-device solutions that have really
taken on the big banks. This means that the larger banks have to do much more than their nimble competitors just to avoid losing their market position, let alone to get ahead. 

The good news is that established banks are beginning to fight back. That’s where other technologies fit into the picture, which was also addressed in the study I referenced. When asked which technology trends are most important for the future, respondents indicated:

In-memory computing is next (48%) followed by cloud (47%)

Banks clearly know what the future looks like with these new technologies, including the use of in-memory computing to very quickly meet regulatory reporting requirements and to gain insight into customers to improve their go-to-market strategy. However, the potential benefits of this technology are often hamstrung by the complexity of banks’ existing environments.

If banks can simplify their IT landscapes, they can more easily utilize new technologies and offer customers the experiences they seek while reducing their own cost-to-income ratios. And by having a single platform with the right architectural structure, banks can deploy both core and non-core processes in the cloud (depending on regulatory limitations). Banks can then identify and introduce new products and offerings in a very short period of time to be competitive and satisfy customers.

The bottom line? Simplify

The reality is – banks need to simplify their IT landscapes in order to reap the real benefits of technologies around mobile, in-memory, and cloud. To simplify requires transformation and the right services partnership.

Consider the banking and solution experts within the SAP Services organization. We can propose an optimum target architecture and roadmap to help you simplify. Where other service providers may be more focused on driving up the bill, we’re focused on generating value. Because we are a software company, not a consultancy, professional services is just a means to an end for us, not an end in itself.  That’s why our goal is simply to help banks achieve the greatest return in the shortest period of time, while establishing a foundation that has the best long-term benefits.

If you’d like to explore this topic further, an executive summary of the research is available to download here: http://www.news-sap.com/banks-embrace-technology-fast-enough-regulators-sap-study-shows/#sthash.XAt5Ucil.dpuf.

To learn more about the banking expertise of SAP Services, visit our banking industry spotlight at http://www.sapserviceshub.com/h/c/56787-industry-spotlight-banking.

Feel free to share your views with me about this topic in the comments below.


[1] Martin Hellmich, Mike Pinedo, Bjoern Schuck, Sikandar Siddiqui, and
Axel Uhl. The Benefits of Innovative
Information Technology in the Banking Industry in Turbulent Times.
Business
Transformation Academy. July 2014.

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