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Adopting agile to rise above digital disruption

Choong Sin Fatt, Senior Solution Architect, Rally Software | Oct. 2, 2015
As technology threatens the traditional bank model, how do you rise above digital disruption and face the new non‐bank competition?

Digital transformation as a competitive weapon
With e‐payments, payment gateways, smart cards, NFC, tokens, and other payment and transactional innovations, the financial industry is also embracing the frontiers of digital transformation.

Consumers demand multiple touch points, including branch operations, kiosks (such as ATMs), and also increasingly online applications secured by tokens. The democratisation of software technology through open source components, also means that more legacy components are gradually displaced by transparent technologies that can be easily developed.

The fastest way to developing financial solutions
One of the smarter methods of managing software application development is the Agile approach, where transient and progressive applications are developed using the iterative Agile approach, as opposed to the traditional waterfall approach.

The Agile approach of software development can help financial services develop software with as flexible a system as possible, and more easily develop components to suit every service requirement as they emerge. Whenever a new requirement surfaces, the Agile approach can address that as a new requirement (known in Agile as a user story) and develop to conclusion. And development teams can more easily debug, improve, or transform the application code across the entire enterprise system of applications.

Improving the legacy approach that developed a usable prototype from six months to a year, the Agile approach of developing a financial software solution can reduce the time‐to‐market drastically, while actually improving software quality, decreasing costs, and improving morale among all the development stakeholders (such as programmers, analysts, administrators, and managers).

Increase business agility
The traditional banking culture — with its siloed business units, legacy technology systems, a risk‐averse worldview and a snail's pace of change — must now be responsive and adaptable, in order to compete with startups and non‐regulated companies encroaching onto the same financial services space.

The Agile approach is flexible, responsive, and adaptable to changing markets and innovations. Going Agile not only enables companies to react quickly, with more efficient and targeted outcomes, it provides executives with the real-time data they need to make leadership decisions swiftly.

At the same time, customer feedback is an inherent part of the Agile lifecycle. Agile gives financial services firms the ability to quickly and effectively integrate feedback into a range of business processes, from enhancing online banking interactions to improving customer response times.

Agile helps companies adapt to opportunities for innovation, track and prioritise work according to its value, and coordinate efficient delivery of products and services, even across distributed teams.

Ultimately, with the Agile approach, organisations can fund projects that really count. Financial services companies can wrestle the big data and all the derivative knowledge from deep frozen legacy systems and code, into actionable intelligence and strategies to retain a place within the financial arena as well as among the digital disruptors.

There is really no other alternative than to leap forward, get Agile, drop old luggage behind, and join the digital transformation.


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