Innovation at Scale in Financial Services
The worlds largest banks are playing catch up. After retreating to lick their wounds after the near death experience of the Great Financial Crisis ten year ago, banks are back, fighting to demonstrate that innovation is not just a game for trendy startups.
Mention the phrase “Core Banking Systems” you may either draw a blank or think of big, impenetrable (except to the odd hacker) monolithic clunky applications with millions of lines of code running on dusty old mainframes.
But this is changing rapidly. Large banks are adopting innovative approaches to software development, deployment and organisational strategy.
The Cloud was until very recently a swear word in financial services. How could reputable and venerable institutions possibly allow their most valuable information, the client data, to be hosted in the Cloud? However, as startups and technology companies have learned already, so banks and other financial institutions are realising that the embracing the cloud is the only way to future proof your technology architecture. The fact that cloud based applications cost less to develop, deploy, and maintain, deliver a superior user experience, and with rock solid security credentials also help.
Utilising the cloud offers banks an opportunity for technology innovation. However in order to fully capitalise on this promise of the cloud, banks and other large organisations are rapidly adopting new ways of organising teams and individuals.
Agile at the scale of huge global banks is not simple or straightforward. Reshaping entire organisations into loosely coupled, autonomous teams, repurposing managers to become effective coaches, and embedding principles of transparency and harnessing the power of 2-week sprints instead of annual planning cycles represents a huge challenge.