by Patrice Becuwe
- Agency Director Aeroline
Financial institutions wishing to scale up their digital transformation need to be able to innovate. Innovation is not possible, however, without a strong data programme that allows those organisations to handle their data complexity more effectively. A more decentralised architecture offers a solution to that problem. But how do you test and measure the impact of such an important architectural shift?
At last year’s Sopra Banking Summit, we presented the results of a worldwide study we conducted together with independent research firm Forrester. The goal of our joint research was to provide a view of banks' digital maturity and their innovation agenda for the coming years.
Not surprisingly perhaps, one of our study’s key findings was the strategic importance of maintaining a spirit of openness and a strong dynamic of innovation. Almost three in four (72%) of the more than 700 financial institution executives we surveyed placed their ability to innovate and improve digital products and services at the very top of their priority list.
Handling data complexity
There is no doubt that this all-important ability to innovate requires a strong data programme. Yet this is where financial institutions still face a number of challenges. Over a quarter of the executives, we surveyed last year admitted their organisation still struggled to share data and create effective data flows between their internal systems and processes. A third admittedly continued to struggle to create data interoperability with their partners.
These continuing struggles with data complexity undeniably impact the quality of the customer journey as well. Which is all the more worrying since our survey revealed the imperative need to maintain a level of customer satisfaction that meets the standards of digital leaders. And this need must be maintained in a dynamic of innovation applied to growth.
Proven recipe: decentralisation
Everyone will probably agree that it is easy to conceptualise the use of one’s data. However, things quickly become more complex when you move away from theory and into the realm of business reality and practical solutions. There our financial industry clients not only face technical and operational problems, as they’re having to deal with siloed data from multiple sources or basically just the sheer volume of data that is too large. They also tend to face organisational problems, as well as a growing number of legal and compliance issues. A classic example of the former is the difficulty of communication and understanding between IT and business, with the IT department often acting as a point of failure in data projects.
The proven recipe for managing any exponential complexity, as we know from past experiences, is to break the problem down into manageable pieces that can be executed independently and coordinated efficiently. In the data world, this problem-solving approach takes on the form of a more decentralised architecture, with specialised roles or profiles able to focus on what they do best.
Off-the-shelf solution to make decentralisation work
While everyone agrees that decentralisation is indeed the way forward, the organisational impact of such an architectural change should not be underestimated. To help our customers quickly test and measure the impact of decentralisation on their organisation’s roles and processes, we partner, among others, with Digazu, a European software company originating and headquartered in Belgium. Digazu offers a real-time data engineering solution that allows to quickly and easily explore and consume data.
In less than three months (sometimes but a few weeks) and without having to worry about the technical and operational technologies nor the legal and compliance issues, our customers get their first results from working with the proposed solution. And more importantly, they are able to learn from those results before investing in new architecture and new technologies.
To obtain the necessary results, Digazu selects one of the customer’s data-driven use cases and implements it on its own eponymous, ready-to-use data engineering platform designed for decentralisation. During that implementation phase, Digazu manages the complexity of the architecture and technologies, while ensuring proper data governance.
Rather than worry about all the technical aspects of scaling up digital transformation, customers can now focus on what they actually want to measure to drive the innovation they need: the people and processes in their organisation.
For more information regarding our partnership with Digazu, download our flyer on how to scale up your digital transformation. In it you will also find some real-life examples of use cases in the fields of Finance, Marketing, Operations, and Risk and Compliance.Our partnership with Digazu fits into Sopra Steria Scale up. That special programme is designed to provide start-up/scale-up organisations with the opportunity to accelerate growth and open up new business opportunities. Learn more about this important part of our Benelux ecosystem and discover our other Scale up partners in the process.