Core system renewal strategies at banks often create more problems than they solve, as firms ignore enterprise integration issues in favour of tactical one-off changes and quick-fix band aids, according to research conducted by Sterling Commerce.
The survey showed that 92% of the 300 respondent banks believe they are building future problems for themselves when they opt for the one-off approach, which 40% of the surveyed banks have undergone.
The research was conducted across France, Germany and the UK and looked at 10 different core systems.
The problems are exacerbated by the low priority given to business process integration, despite the fact that it is the most common source of project over-runs in both cost and timescale. "From these findings it appears that if the industry gave greater recognition and priority to the business-critical 'science' of process integration, system change projects might be accomplished with much less pain," says Richard Spong, financial services industry marketing manager at Sterling Commerce, Emea.
The findings were supported by the results of a benchmarking survey conducted by McKinsey Consulting that was presented at this year's Sibos event - the annual user conference run by financial messaging body Swift.
According to McKinsey consultant Akash Lal, of all of the banks that replaced their core banking systems in the last five years, just 20% of them were satisfied with the results. "Core banking replacements are seen as a panacea but does not always work like that. I have heard some horrific stories about the issues that have arisen."
The best approach, says Lal, is to first understand exactly what your IT demands are on an application-by-application basis before embarking on wholesale system lift-outs. "Which applications do you want to invest in and which ones do you want to shed and discuss this with your IT staff. You will often find that the applications the IT staff spend most time on, are the ones you want to shed."