Charles Patterson, Head of Client Solutions, discusses how banks can overcome the challenge of legacy technology.
Legacy technology presents huge challenges for banks. Increasingly, customers visiting branches expect there to be ever more sophisticated technology and digital tools available to allow them to make transactions as efficiently as possible.
But banks’ traditional approach of bringing in technology with the intention of using it for as long as possible means that much of their equipment risks having only basic or outdated functionality. It’s important to avoid the trap of waiting too long to make replacements and upgrades before technology becomes unfit for purpose.
While it will always be important for branches to sweat their assets to generate maximum return on investment (ROI), this must be coupled with a clear view on what the exit strategy is, in order to avoid a situation where they are left with a suite of defunct systems requiring radical, wholesale changes at short notice.
The key is to develop a strategic plan for technology investment and the change management that comes with it. Without this targeted approach, if banks find themselves needing to upgrade their technology quickly, they’re unlikely to satisfy the specific needs and expectations of their customers, resulting in a lack of buy-in.
Partnering with a change management specialist helps branches to develop a roadmap for implementing new tools and services effectively. Planning the upgrade process well in advance allows them to carefully study new technology trends and the wider market to identify the solutions that will best suit customers. This approach ensures that not only will branches introduce technology that is fit for purpose, but that staff and end-users are fully-engaged with any transition, with a clear understanding of what the new tools can offer and how they will benefit from them.
This process also factors in how to work best with suppliers to ensure any purchases deliver ROI. It may be that there are off-the-shelf solutions available that will incur lower costs, or options to lease rather than buy, making it easier to modernise and refresh as technology continues to evolve. Ultimately, these partnerships enable banks to be more agile, responding in a more strategic way whenever there is a need for change, whether in the long- or short-term.
By implementing a strategic plan for technology investment, banks can avoid finding themselves in a situation where they’re forced to make snap decisions. Instead, any upgrades will have been assessed in advance for their feasibility and value, delivering on customer expectations without breaking the bank.