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The Tortoise and The Hare: Digital Banking Transformation

This widely known fabled story can serve as an excellent primer for examining the pros and cons of seemingly opposing forces in a familiar format utilizing a compare and contrast context. There certainly have been several perspectives offered on the Why and How of the winner's result and the lessons to be learned and carried forward.

From a traditional interpretation perspective, the old adage of "slow and steady wins the race" while acknowledging the value of stability and perseverance simply can no longer apply universally in today's fast paced digital customer experience race. Not when the parameters, rules, technology of the race course are constantly changing mid-lap.

Alternatively, a "push the pedal to the metal" approach in an effort to exceed the exponentially growing customer demand, establish market differentiation against an ever-changing competitive baseline all the while maintaining the highest standards of performance, stability and security is not necessarily the ready answer. Uber cool front-end UI/UX capabilities can quickly become worthless to end customers if functionality/data/solution modules/ are down and inaccessible. Meaning Financial Institutions can't afford a new shiny awesome front end to run the wheels off the back end as a number of recent global bank news events can attest.

So, what to do? The answer could be 2 Speed Architecture.

Now recently there have been several opinions offered on how the idea of 2 Speed Architecture is dead or not really beneficial after all. However, the counter points are typically NOT based on "architecture" advantages or dis-advantages but rather redirect focus on "Agile vs Waterfall" Development method comparisons or "Fast Dev Team vs Slow Dev Team" Resource negative mentalities - to name a few.

The facts are that most Financial Institutions ecosystems are inclusive of varied solutions spanning a number of architectures and technologies and require varied skillsets to update, innovate and maintain.

The "architecture" benefits of a 2 Speed Architecture approach maximizes the leverage points of value and the strengths from each solution on either side of the seemingly great divide. There are innate advantages to de-coupling customer facing solutions from the internal working platforms (i.e. core) within any FI. Purposeful design and intentional integration patterns such as Digitally enabling the Core and Mediated APIs will allow the digitally advanced front-end to forge forward while better utilizing the legacy back-end system's strongest assets – Data and Stability! Additionally, strategies to extract business logic, services and capabilities out of the legacy back-end solution and into modern enterprise components and leveraging mediated apis and intelligent routing orchestration within a middle tier API Gateway strategy provisions both hemisphere cogs to modernize, transform and innovate at rates that are optimal given their respective competencies.

In today's lexicon, the word "compromise" often carries a very negative connotation and is typically erroneously reduced to "winners and losers" and "un-desirable luke warm" outcome analogies. However, there is extreme value and sage wisdom in choosing the right tool for the job at the right time and that very well could be a digital transformation initiative maximizing 2 Speed Architecture advantages! 


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Andrew Beatty

Andrew Beatty

Head of Strategy, Banking


Member since

17 Sep 2018



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Banking Architecture

A community for discussing the latest happenings in banking IT. Credit Crunch impacting Risk Systems overall, revamp of mortgage backed securities, payment transformations, include business, technology, data and systems architecture capturing IT trends, 'what to dos?' concerning design of systems.

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