Operations

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The operations of both the IT ad Business process is something that all organisation share, however there are some specific challenges that are prevalent in the FS sector at the moment

Operations

The operations of both the IT ad Business process is something that all organisation share, however there are some specific challenges that are prevalent in the FS sector at the moment. 

ITO & BPO Operations – the approach to streamline the business has led to a number of operational functions both IT and Business being moved to partner organisations offshore and near-shore.  The attempts to ‘right source’ what functions are required and where they are provided from is a challenge that many FS organisations have.  Challenges in the quality, efficiency and cost are common, with organisations varying in where they are on the respective journeys.  It is fair that most organisations are realising that this is more of challenge in how to realise the savings or efficiencies that originally planned for.  Models such as SIAM are greatly helping to analyse and help organisation get their operations where they want to be; understanding and implementing the right levels of process, technology and people / skills for their organisation

Scale Out / Agility – Against the backdrop of the current economic climate with significant changes and volatility in the markets, this has led to an enormous amount of mergers and divestments in the FS sector over the past few years, with undoubtedly more to come.  The knock-on effect of this is that that FS IT operations need to become more agile in brining systems and solutions together along with being able to more easily split services when required.  In order to achieve this level of agility and flexibility there are a number of key areas of technology focus:

  • Hosting / Cloud (Internal / Hybrid / External) – looking at how the move to more dynamic solution delivery through service provision  both on premise and externally can help to speed up systems development and deployment
  • Infrastructure Orchestration & Convergence – how off the shelf and pre-defined solution can streamline processes and operations.  To remove complexity and integration in the operational environment
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – Looking at how technology can be used to enhance the use experience and cut down on training and overhead through the use of familiar devices and solutions.  To leverage any platform that the business users are comfortable with and still deliver the right technology to the right time in the right place – minimizing the lead time for solutions integration and deployment buy standardising the back-end IT solutions

Desktop & VDI:  End User Strategy – Although quite a technically driven concept the move for FS towards virtualisation in the End User / Client space will have huge benefits.  With FS often large and diverse workforces ranging from tethered users of a small amount of application in braches to highly mobile sales and advisory teams in the field, to massive call center operations the current need to maintain a huge volumes of applications and client desktops and laptops is massive overhead.  The more the platform and applications that are required can be virtualised and hosted in a centralised and flexible model the greater the agility and cost reduction will be.  The time for testing and deployment is dramatically cut and the support model greatly simplified at a much lower cost

Development – FS has perhaps one of the biggest in-house development requirements of any sector.  The ability create unique software, in many case remains and key business differentiator in the market.  However the ability to only create unique code where require and moreover to leverage COTS (commercial of the shelf) solutions or develop within proven frameworks in critical to the success of rapid and quality development of applications within FS.  The current and future challenges for FS can be grouped into three broad categories

  • Development Model(s) – how to adopt and successfully implement software development models (theoretical or Service provider delivered).  How to take the tools and process and adapt these to your business requirements along with developing the right skills and internal Operating model all at the right cost in the right timeframe.  Without a doubt this is one of the hardest and key challenges in the FS technology space today
  • Application Orchestration / workflow – Many in the FS space have looked towards toolsets that help link their business and technical process together.  These orchestration and workflow tools promise to simplify and standardise much of the ‘glue’ that would otherwise need to be developed on a case by case basis.  The case management and workflow tools (e.g. PEGA) are however a critical aspect to plan and get right.  Done well this can greatly help increase the time to market and cost of deployment / operations but too often the toolsets become a ‘cottage industry’ that may hinder the development and increase the cost of FS systems integration

Offshore, Near Shore and Operating Model – Perhaps the single biggest area of focus of FS in the Development space is getting the operating model right.  The FS sector has really embraced the use of offshore workers in particular for code development.  This brings with it some potential advantages in terms of scalability and cost reduction but also huge challenges.  The need to really understand the best operating model, process and procedures is critical – the implementation of SIAM (Service Integration and Management) to look at all aspects of the how the outsourced model of development is designed, purchased and maintained is a critical step in the success modern FS application development

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