Thinking about fintech for a moment, there are already some major success stories with companies such as TransferWise and Funding Circle. These success stories bring validity to the plethora of innovative businesses that are bringing different business models to the finance sector. There is also the promise of better access to our banking information via initiatives such as the Open Banking API and PSD2. Finally, financial institutions are taking advantage of big data sources to make better risk based decisions and to uncover opportunities. All of this is driving institutions to rethink how systems are rolled out and how they will extend their enterprise to manage this new ecosystem.
So where does agile come into this? Many people think agile is something software developers do. However, in reality, it can be applied to many areas of an institution. It’s about setting your stall out in a way that allows you to be responsive to the business and the market in which you operate, being respectful but unencumbered by what’s going on in the wider organisation and finally delivering value quickly.
We are seeing, in the sector, organisations who want to deliver on technology initiatives quickly. The approach 10 years ago would be to consider long and hard how that fits into the organisations’ enterprise architecture, go through a major integration project and deliver after many months and significant investment. Enterprise Architecture is far from dead, however we need transformable solutions that can be deployed quickly and rolled into the bigger picture over time, not from day one.
How does this relate to fintech and APIs? Let’s take a scenario where there are 1000s of organisations who could consume your personal information for a variety of purposes. Is the technology you use today going to the authorisation and authentication demands of such a scenario?
To be agile and to support this type of scenario there are four major factors you need to consider.
Supporting standards is a given. However, as we think about security, authentication and authorisation, many traditional enterprise solutions don’t extend out to a cloud-based model in a way that you would want, such as being highly dependent on agents and other bottlenecks to be successfully deployed. In addition, working with technology that does support standards properly allows them to be deployed with the confidence that they can be integrated into the bigger picture at a later date.
Time to deployment
Technology should not be a bottleneck to the business goal. Technologies that can be deployed and integrated in days rather than months and years are going to allow you to move quickly. No matter how agile you are you can only move at the pace at which the technology is capable of being deployed.
Work with partners who are also agile
Choosing partners who have the same attitude is key. Working with companies that don’t compromise on quality but carry a can-do attitude gets the job done, and avoids the traditional big vendor mentality.