New SunGard-Sponsored Research Shows European Banks Ready to Adopt Service-Oriented Architectures in Competition for Customers

London - 30 April 2009

Research from a new SunGard-sponsored banking study has shown an increased focus on customer centricity tied to risk and performance management. The study, undertaken by the consultancy arm of International Banking Systems (IBS), was conducted in late 2008 and early 2009 with senior IT managers from retail banks across Europe. Respondents were asked about current market trends, IT spending priorities and drivers for IT and business change. The full report can be found at www.sungard.com/ambit

The report showed a fundamental shift back to what many described as the “basics” of banking: traditional criteria such as speed to market, marketing, cross-selling, profitability analysis and strong channel delivery were seen as key areas. In addition, many respondents said that their priorities for IT spending included risk management, deposit gathering, customer channel automation and front-office enhancements to improve customer centricity.

Operational excellence and cost-efficiency were also cited as critical areas for improvement, with many banks seeing service-oriented architecture (SOA) methodologies as key to their achievement. Although many banks are still debating the extent to which SOA can be understood and used, most agreed that initiatives such as the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN), of which SunGard is a founding member, were needed. Many respondents indicated that a sound and documented SOA approach was fundamental to their choice of vendors and systems.

Nicholas Brewer, vice president, global banking solutions for SunGard’s Ambit business unit, commented: “It was fascinating to gauge opinions from senior IT managers in banks given the backdrop of the current financial crisis. It was particularly interesting to note the areas in which there was consensus amongst the varied opinions expressed by the participants. There is a watershed feel to the industry at present; previous assumptions are being jettisoned and customer perceptions have changed.”

He continued: “Delivery channels for basic banking activities could change rapidly, which means we need to offer our customers flexible, adaptable solutions. As noted in the study, the back-end systems must not constrain the adoption of new channels. It must be feasible to deliver customer relationship solutions without changing the underlying core systems. We offer our customers a componentized SOA-based approach, whereby banks can quickly deploy loan origination or deposit gathering, for example, across multiple core systems if required.”

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