This is Part 2 of an earlier post around IT in banks. Read it here Part 1. Here’s Mike’s Take on what IT could do to alleviate the situation for Banks

  1. A bank is aggressively growing their core lines of services (loans and deposits) to close the gap with market leaders. IT is expected to improve speed of services deployment (infrastructure and apps) so that the right capacity is in place at the right time. > IT must fundamentally gain visibility into the tech stack, before being able to gain control and automation. At the infrastructure level, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure offers cohesive, predictable building blocks that will shave time and effort in deploying infrastructure services. Wrap the technology with supply chain processes that allow capacity to be forecasted and delivered just in time. Then, build / develop / run the next app on PaaS + Microservices to speed up app deployment. At the very least, use app templatizing tools. 
  2. A bank is embarking on new business groups that have a specific focus on global transaction banking. GTB is a growth area for banks, particularly since Asia leads in this market at 41%. The top 3 concerns are regulations, fast time to market (agility) and cost. IT in this sense, will be in a critical position to address the concerns and facilitate the new business. > New lines of businesses carry a level of unpredictability which gets directly propagated to IT capacity availability and service readiness. This where the hybridization of the IT services deserves serious consideration. A hybrid cloud does not always translate to “being able to move VMs from here to there” – such a use case hardly justifies a worthy investment. On the other hand, a hybrid cloud is preceded by thorough segregation of apps by functionality, security and cost factors. Once that is done, a hybrid cloud is in place to give IT visibility and control into the cost and SLA at both the private and public legs. 
  3. A bank is stretched between keeping costs down for the existing systems (issues, upgrades, growth), and investing in new digital services and initiatives. It is key to keep the existing systems running. But keeping things running and seen as maintaining the systems often paint IT as a non-innovator in any company. This erodes IT credibility. > There are various levels of innovation in the digital world. On one end, IT can be the real innovator – creating a new market, or a line of business for the bank. On the other end, IT can be the innovation enabler, which is the sweet-spot for most IT departments. IT must drive technology decisions that make it easier for the bank to consume digital tech when the time comes. Some of the common enablers are : data lakes, availing all types of raw data for in-place analytics and visualization; PaaS, allowing digital services (read : apps) to be delivered rapidly. 
  4. A bank sees a need for restructuring and re-skilling the IT planning and operations staff, with focus on cross-domain skills. The bank realizes the need for outcome-based roles in IT. Roles that are able to advise and act across multiple domains towards an outcome, as opposed to technology siloes that has served well in the past. > Some of the more common cross-domain expertise include cloud architects, data architects and enterprise architects. Such skills lend a broader view to the current state and intended outcome. 
  5. A bank has a manual, lengthy process to provision IT services (infrastructure and applications), in spite of running a large virtualized environment. IT is failing to meet the SLA imposed by the bank. This has resulted go-to-market delays to the lines of business. > In this particular scenario, IT must step up to the next cloud-level : automation and service catalog. IT should also begin piloting DevOps working groups, allowing applications to be continuously developed instead of the old, sequential manner. 
  6. A bank is proactively exploring steps towards incorporating predictive analytics practice and technology in the bank. IT acknowledges that big data analytics is over-hyped. They are frustrated with the various approaches that make achieving outcomes sound easy but the truth is far from that. IT has hence poured effort into focusing on the business outcomes that the businesses desire. > IT should therefore take an approach that makes gradual parallel steps in technology, data science processes, skills and practice. IT should have a vision workshop with the business group to identify 2-3 business use cases. IT should then pilot an analytics sandbox environment through a pilot team of business analysts and data analysts. IT must endeavor to deliver gradual wins and successes, as opposed to a big-bang approach.