Business — Banking — Management — Marketing & Sales

IT in branch networks

Category: Branches

1. Functional architecture of a branch

Explaining main organisational issues: Branch manager in connection with both front and back office.

Identify responsibility for back office, front office and the overall management of the head of the branch.

2. A branch’s business relies on IT systems

All transactions, all activity of a branch needs to be monitored for coordination either at regional level, or at head office level. Products sold, volumes, client profiles, etc. are all crucial information for the management of the entire network and the evolution of the commercial policy.

IT systems are the only tools that allow a correct management of all this. This explains why the banking and finance industry is the first consumer of information technology.

3. Pitfalls in IT systems

Flawed IT systems can lead to catastrophic bank management. Here are cited a few reasons why systems can’t fulfill their duty.

Stress that the main threat is when decision makers in selecting / implementing IT systems do not have a clear understanding of habits and needs of operational personnel.

Associating branch staff (managers at least) is the key for a successful implementation.

4. Need to have a clear idea of business, challenges and requirements

The analysis of business, needs and local developments as well as strategic issues for the future of branch business is the first stage is assessing requirements for branches’ IT systems.

Reversely, branch staff must understand that a new computer system will not do everything. They will not have something that will work and thing at their place and prepare coffee also.

5. A few key rules, and be pragmatic

“Garbage in, garbage out’ is the most important thing to remember in IT. A system will only be as good as what is in it. This means that reliability, timeliness of data is as important as the processing a parameter setting itself.

Also, in a moving business, it is important to ensure the adaptability of systems to changes. Possibilities of parameter changes, without having to rewrite the entire code, is very important.

6. Choosing a system

In house systems against standard packages

Forwarding key decision elements

Every choice has its own advantages and inconveniences.

Generally the smaller the bank, the better it is to buy a package of simple management tools.

For a larger bank, with its own IT development division, the question can be more acute. There is a balance to find between management requirements, the political power of the IT Division Manager himself, and the business profile of the bank. The more standard operations there are in the bank, the more logical a standard package would be.

Remember that buying an oversized system, where just a small portion of the functionalities will be used by the bank, or requiring heavy changes to match your business, could be a catastrophic operation.

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