What is that a bank will be looking for in a core banking transformation programme? Is it only improvement in productivity, efficiency, compliance or something more? This is the question that requires a solid unwavering answer at the very beginning of
the project; the business, IT and the management groups must have a clear consistent view. This view must be etched in stone and remain there forever till the project is complete despite the changing business and economic conditions; a key KPI for the success
of the programme. A weak definition will guillotine any transformation programme.
Let us now apply some thought to answering the question, what is that a bank must be looking for in a core banking transformation programme? The answer is
Product Innovation and Business Innovation.
What is product innovation? In the industry where products are intangible attributes such as simplicity, easy to operate, differentiated customer experience and quick to market will give the competitive edge, increase market share, improve revenues etc.
In choosing the vendor it is very important for a bank to assess the product innovation capability. A full-fledged assessment by the business leaders of the bank with the vendor product strategy experts will expose the solution’s capability. This must continue
In the course of the project (assessment on the product innovation) to ensure full realization. In more operational terms, analyse an existing product, design and implement leveraging the new solution’s innovative capabilities.
I have sat through the vendor selection process. The ‘requirements’ fulfillment is given a high priority; at the end of the project the same old stuff is getting done in a new solution. The vendors go the entire length talking about scalability, flexibility,
interoperability. These are all hygiene and ’must haves’ and to say the least distractors. The primary is the product innovation capability.
What is business innovation? The distribution and sale of products in a way that is different from what it is currently. Multichannel strategy is a good example for business innovation. A core banking vendor on selection must be viewed as a business partner.
A bank’s business strategy henceforth will be defined in conjunction with the new business partner. It will be the responsibility of this business partner to guide the bank in business innovation. It will not be too far-fetched for me to say that the bank
must insist on having a full time representative from the core banking solution provider on the board of the bank.
A core banking transformation is a strategic investment. The investments are in hundreds of million dollars spread over 3 to 5 years implementation time frame. A strong business case and business partner approach with the vendor will give the programme
the credibility and better accountability.