Dealing with The New Demands of The Digital World
A couple of our executives were at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 8th Annual Technical Innovation Summit in Menlo Park, CA. They heard from head technology executives at the bank, which is in the midst of a broad digital transformation effort. The bank has tripled its digital budget in 2016, and is looking to become a digital-first organization, through a digital conversion of its business practices, and the way it communicates and services its customers.
“Our customers don’t benchmark us against banks,” said Hari Gopalkrishnan, CIO of client-facing platform technology, in an interview with InformationWeek. “They benchmark us against Uber and Amazon.”
Their CTO, David Reilly, gave some key requirements and characteristics of that are now required of vendors looking to do business with the bank, and core to bank strategy going forward. Here is a summary of his comments:
- Open Interfaces Are Required – long gone are the days of the legacy “black box” applications that require costly vendor services for integration and extension. Reilly quoted, “Open, for us, isn’t defined as ‘your stuff works great with the rest of your stuff,'” said Reilly. “It means it has to work great with the rest of our stuff.” (Information Week). This focus on open, modular products is a key to the banks strategy.
- Leverage Technology To Drive Consolidation – the Bank is focusing on consolidation of key customer assets and services, and any technology that can facilitate this move will be highly valued.
- Subscriptions Are The New Licensing Model – moving away from legacy, standard licensing models that force a large capital expenditure is a big component of their plan. Subscription licensing agreements will now be the norm.
- You Don’t Need To Customize Everything – the openness is required, but he focused on only customizing where it was absolutely required. He discussed that most technologists will never be satisfied with a 70% solution, they want perfection.
- Rapid Scale-up and Scale-down – having the ability and flexibility to scale in both directions, both from an infrastructure and licensing perspective, is a core tenet of all solutions going forward.
- Rapid Build and Deployment – any application that provides reduced time to market, will help them better serve both internal and external customers.
Our strategy has always been to drive value through an open, flexible web services API for document capture and analytics. So it was great to hear and see a complete presentation of the value we can bring to any organization from a leading CTO. Thoughts? Comments?