Financial institutions have vast and hopelessly complex IT environments. As system complexity increases, maintenance costs also increase. With fierce competition in the industry, IT teams are running pillar to post looking for ways to improve process efficiency; or in other words, to reduce (at best) wastage of resources and come up with a better profit chart for those management reviews.IT departments with deep pockets can buy a hundred “nice to have” tools but the number doesn’t really matter if they don’t get the job done.
From our experience with clients like Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Bank Hapoalim (to name a few), here are five essential capabilities for an optimal IT environment, especially in the finance industry.
1. Seeing connections across all your IT assets, whether mainframe or distributed or both.
2. Analyzing risks involved in making changes to any element in your environment.
3. Instantly finding and retrieving any piece of information from anywhere within the system.
4. Keeping your environment clean by finding unused programs or orphans.
5. System understanding across the department; not in the hands of a privileged few.
Okay, I take back the part about IT environments being “hopelessly” complex. With growing diversity of financial services, complexity is something that cannot be helped. The only thing that can be helped is our understanding of complex systems and that calls for technology. The right set of tools can turn a confusing and complicated system into a meaningful and well-connected network.
The question isn’t about how many tools you have, it’s whether your tools are giving you these 5 capabilities.