By Nigel Filer, Director of Financial Services, Computacenter
The development of modern communication platforms and the increased expectations of both customer service and higher levels of engagement from customers means banks must consider ways to upgrade existing legacy infrastructures, to keep them ahead of the competition.
Certain legacy systems currently enable product lines such as credit cards and savings accounts to be managed and analysed categorically across an organisation. However, in a customer facing environment this potentially raises issues when a consumer wants to access a number of data points in one purchase, for example when applying for a loan. In many instances legacy server operating systems are often deemed “out dated” or in need of replacement, yet back-end legacy systems can in fact act as file servers and archives, which are fundamental to historic and current customer behaviour analysis.
Many outdated systems often survive due to the potential risk level and errors that can come when migrating data, and the overwhelming prospect of having to retrain end-user across the organisation on the new system. However, the focus should not be on abandoning these systems that have proven so effective in the past. Instead banking institutions should aim to integrate new age digital transformations with legacy systems, in an attempt to have a best of both worlds approach. This will encourage a more fluid and effective use of data and improve customer service and communication.
One approach to be considered is two-speed architecture as it enables faster reacting, engaging customer-facing data system to run alongside a transaction-focused reliable legacy system. This can allow a banking organisation to deploy immediate software upgrades or technological redevelopments to keep up with modern advancements and customer demands. Whilst at the same time running a reliable, scalable data management system behind the scenes (system of records).
In an increasingly competitive market banks are in demand to do more whilst spending less and the modernisation of both branches and data systems are enabling a better analysis of customer behaviour whilst reducing cost and increasing service levels.
A two speed architectural example would be most effective when considering the future of customer mortgage inquiries. Customer engagement can be improved whilst reducing staffing and costs, for example the use of video conferencing services when advising consumers on mortgage choices. The data analysis process of customer profiling and data integration would still take place through the use of a behind the scenes legacy system, but instant interaction with an adviser through video conferencing, would effectively speed up the process, whilst reducing in branch costs and marrying systems together for the best banking service possible.