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Digital Banking through customer centric BPM

Last decade saw automation of back office business processes through BPM technology adoption in 3 distinct areas - document-centric BPM, human-centric BPM and Straight through Processing (STP) with integration-centric BPM. We have seen extensive back office use-cases like payments reconciliation, customer on-boarding, KYC, anti-money laundering (AML), loan approval and trade reconciliation being automated. With the advent of SMAC era, we are observing convergence of all 3 types of BPM to deliver right front office (multichannel customer experience across sales, services) and back office process automation. In fact it is going through a seismic shift which warrants high focus on customer centric business process development to facilitate two way customer interaction capabilities. Organizations are adopting high degree of mobile and social channels to facilitate simple business process (i.e. approvals, complaint management; travel or accommodation services, sales force management, etc.). Organizations are also starting experiment with advanced BPM use-cases using analytics and context aware techniques. We are also seeing BPM adoption entry barriers getting removed through BPaaS platforms, enabling rapid development with cloud models.

This presents a big opportunity to Banks provided right strategy and focus is applied in following areas:-   

Align Business, Operations and IT KPIs - As the BPM processes are becoming more customer centric, alignment of KPI across Business, Operations and IT layers are becoming important. Marketing or sales executives, back office operations and business solution architects should play equal role in defining the goals and objectives.

Use of tools like Aris and IBM Blueworks helps to bridge the gaps that exist between Business and IT. Establishing business and process KPIs help to continuously measure and optimize them. Also, agile prototyping and pilot helps to align KPI’s and set the right expectation across customers, business, operations and IT.

Infra agility & resilience (Cloud) - Infrastructure on-demand is a key driver for agile BPM adoption. There is a huge disruption in the cloud services (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS) paradigm, where multiple vendors are providing BPaaS, Integration PaaS and API management on cloud; Application development on cloud; Web content management, Big Data & Analytics on cloud. Most large BPM vendors like IBM, Oracle and Pega offer both on premise and cloud solutions. The key is to choose the right cloud services to expedite BPM adoption. Before embarking on a large BPM initiative banks must ensure they have a clear infrastructure strategy. Prototyping and pilot on an agile cloud infrastructure helps to prove the business case in quick time to secure funding for next stage. It also helps large Banks to build a differentiated business process to get competitive advantage quickly. 

Sandbox, Dev Ops & Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) - BPM adoption requires an agile process which facilitates rapid prototyping, continuous improvement and incremental release which equates to speed to market and risk reduction. Setting a robust development, test execution, continuous integration and delivery platform across the application life cycle from development to production is the key to success.

Focus should also be on integrated Sandbox or lab environment, end-to-end ALM tooling, provisioning, and delivering seamless release management capability across development, test, staging and production environments. Aggressive Open source and cloud technology adoption are one of the ways to create a mature environment.

A well planned tool selection will help create a truly agile Application lifecycle environment:

-          Requirement definition and design tools (using Aris, IBM Bluework etc)

-          Coding tools (Eclipse, jDeveloper, Rational developer, Mobile development IDEs)

-          Code repository & Configuration management tools (GIT, SVN etc)

-          Build dependency and compile/package tools (Maven, Gradle etc)

-          Automated Unit Test tools (Junit, Mokito etc)

-          Automated integration test tools (CA LISA etc)

-          Execute code inspection and quality analysis tools (SonarQube etc)

-          Continuous integration tools (Jenkins, Hudson, bamboo, teamCity, etc)

-          Ideation, Dev & continuous integration environment tools (CLOUDFoundry, IBM BlueMix etc)

-          Repository management tools (Nexus etc)

-          Deployment tools (Udeploy etc)

-          Test stage environment tools (CLOUDFoundry or home environment)

-          Automated and manual testing tools (HP, CA LISA toolsets etc).

IT Process Standardization (SDLC, Architecture, Application Development & Testing) - Robust agile software development principles need to be adopted to promote adaptive planning, evolutionary development, continuous improvement and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. Agile infrastructure and DevOps are enablers for agile delivery. Some of the softer aspects like pair programming, SCRUM, extreme programming, test driven developments and story driven modelling need to be built into the SDLC framework. A BPM COE required to be set up to act as a governance & control mechanism in the IT SDLC process.

Architecture & design governance to enforce standards

-          Graphical business process and/or rule modelling capability (BPMN, BPEL)

-          Process registry/repository to handle the modelling metadata

-          Execution and state management engine and/or a rule engine (BMM, DMN etc)

-          Standard process modelling (IFW)

-          User centric design

-          Estimation templates

-          Data models

-          Security standards

-          Integration standards (WSDL, SOAP, REST, JSON etc) with CRM, Analytics, ECM and other systems.

Coding and development governance to enforce standards in the areas like

-          Codes (UI, Integration and Core JEE)

-          Business rule configuration

-          Performance optimization (Memory leaks, query optimization etc)

-          Unit test execution & automation code coverage.

And finally Integration, UAT & Pre-Prod (Non-functional testing) testing governance to ensure functional testing coverage, integration points checking and compliance to all Non-functional requirements.

Focus on above aspect will help Banks to deliver customer centric business process faster, cheaper and better.

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