A recent running event inspired me to think about why people run and what makes people run. Extrapolating the question to corporations eventually brought me to the question of what banks need in order to run, and run well at that.While people need a firm mental resolve and a fit, healthy body to go with, corporations need processes, policies and great people apart from products & services portfolios in order to “run” well.
But, banks are somewhat different from corporations in general since there are a huge number of “transactions” involving customers, counter-parties and several stakeholders of the global economic machinery.
So, in order to run well, not only do banks need great processes, people and products & service portfolios, they also need robust systems.
Now, let us assume that even with a nodding acquaintance with banking and financial services, it is easy to understand that banks need robust systems in order to run well.
But, the most important question of all is, What are these systems?
Core banking systems, trade transaction systems, treasury systems, credit card management systems, ATM switches, credit appraisal systems, documentation and imaging systems, payment systems – the list is endless.
What is often lost in the labyrinth of systems is the “reading between the systems”. Just as in literature it is important to read between the lines; just as in cinema it is important to read to between the frames, it is important in banks and financial services, to read between the data from the multitudes of systems.
That there is an indisputable need to make sense of the data from across all these systems to get the full picture from customers, transactions, products and get to the real decision parameters becomes clear with the idea of an Enterprise Wide Business Intelligence System.
And the oft debated question about “bundled BI” can easily be put to rest by an Enterprise Business Intelligence platform that integrates data from not just system, but all the systems which are used within the bank.
So, now, let us mull over the question again.
What does a bank need in order to run well?
Is a core banking system alone enough?