How Banking CIOs Can Leverage IT Agility to Enable the Business

Instead of supporting a piecemeal set of disconnected enterprise applications, IT can lead the way in advocating for platform-based solutions that will scale across use cases.

With an ever-increasing demand for implementing enabling technologies across use cases, how do you and your IT teams keep pace with the transformative needs of the business?

In my last post, I discussed how financial services CIOs are in a unique position to help the business realize differentiating value from its data and analytic investments (hint: it’s not all about the data). Instead, CIOs can leverage decision-first principles to deliver capabilities that will scale across line-of-business use cases.

In this post, I’d like to dive into another challenge CIOs wrestle with as they look to support the fast-moving and far-reaching scope of digital transformation initiatives across the business -- even after flipping the data story around, how do you balance technology needs across a growing web of enterprise applications while remaining responsive and flexible to new functional requirements? And, when compounded with the mounting technical debt from legacy systems, how can you build in IT agility to stay a step ahead of the needs of the business while relieving the pressure on your IT teams and resources?

IT Agility to Grow in Lockstep with the Business

According to IDC, “Financial Institution CIOs, working with their line-of-business (LOB) counterparts, must work collaboratively to build an intelligence-based enterprise. IDC's digital transformation (DX) maturity analyses show that organizations in which the IT technology road map and business road map are tightly aligned are those organizations that have achieved substantial digital transformation success.”

IT leaders are in a unique position to spearhead efforts to connect siloed applications and build a technology foundation for enterprise intelligence with the flexibility to meet the long-term needs of the business. By working in lockstep with your business counterparts and providing tools to enable business technologists across the enterprise, you can maximize your existing IT resources to keep pace with the transformational needs of the organization.

Streamlining Your Technology Stack

A best-of-breed approach to solving for all the existing and new use cases across the business can quickly become unsustainable. Attempting to integrate multiple vendors with your IT infrastructure adds complexity, burdens support teams, hinders agility, and often results in a mess of applications that don’t work well with one another. As the business looks to become more intelligent and respond quickly to market opportunities, these siloes lead to gaps in information and insights that could be used to make better decisions.

Instead of supporting a piecemeal set of disconnected enterprise applications, IT can lead the way in advocating for platform-based solutions that will scale across use cases. By leveraging a shared and reusable set of platform capabilities to build dynamic applications, your IT teams can more quickly respond to business opportunities without having to manage the increased complexity of a new system or the integration of yet another point solution. 

Scaling Your IT Influence with Composable Thinking

Taking this a step further, a true enterprise intelligence network not only leverages a set of common tools, it captures organizational knowledge, data, insights, and strategies in a way that can be reused and leveraged across the enterprise. This approach to decision asset reusability  serves as the foundation for delivering composable business capabilities that drive enterprise-wide innovation and value creation during times of rapid market change.

Reusing Decision Assets chart

By unifying these capabilities within a common platform, IT can help the business harness the right data, apply AI and machine learning, and use these insights to drive more intelligent decisions at scale. This helps the business more efficiently leverage the latest technological advancements and better capture value from your data science investments. 

Business and IT Collaboration Improves Productivity for All

You might be thinking - that all sounds great, but I still anticipate falling behind. How does a platform reduce the number of requests from the business? How do we stay ahead when the business is constantly needing to adjust strategies to respond to competitive threats and shifting economic and market conditions?

Here, the goal isn’t to reduce the number of changes and requests. Instead, the key to optimizing your IT agility is empowering the business users to take control of the data, insights, and actions to drive their desired outcomes.

While a modular platform architecture can help your IT teams become more agile in responding to the needs of the business, the tools provided to those business users can act as a force multiplier in driving impact and time to value. As the business works to build differentiated customer experiences, launch new products, respond to shifting regulations, and maximize customer value, the speed of change becomes even more critical. The business users closest to these decisions need to be equipped with the tools to test, learn, and iterate at the speed of business.

Providing self-service authoring, testing, simulation, and reporting tools under the governance of a unified decisioning platform allows IT to empower non-technical users to rapidly respond to the ongoing needs of the business. At the same time, the burden on your IT teams is reduced as changes no longer route through the IT backlog. This reduced reliance on IT for operational requests frees up resources to focus on higher-impact strategic initiatives and serves to further improve the business-IT relationship as a critical partnership in driving business outcomes. 

Prioritizing Your Next IT Investment with a Focus on Reusable Capabilities

While a platform-based solution may appear to be more complex than a simple best-of-breed solution approach, when looked at holistically it can dramatically save costs and speed up time to value overall. 

It’s important to consider both the needs of the immediate project and future use cases and projects where the same technology could be applied to add new value. By thinking about your IT strategy from a perspective of common, reusability capabilities, a palette of organizational “abilities” can be established to bridge organizational silos, improve efficiencies, and help you deliver value in a more agile way.

This enables you to quickly configure and deploy new solutions, all with the same underpinnings to ensure data and decisions assets can easily flow across the enterprise and be quickly adapted to meet customer needs. By strategically enabling intelligent solutions across the enterprise, your investment in a decisioning platform can deliver outsized business results.

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