How Banks Should Approach Legacy Technology

by | Sep 13, 2021

Innovations in financial technology have introduced today’s banking consumers to an unprecedented level of convenience. With just a few taps on a phone screen, consumers have instant, secure access to their financial data. As more customers begin to incorporate these fintech-developed mobile and cloud solutions into their daily lives, they also started asking, “why can’t my bank offer this?” Banking industry professionals could easily spend hours unpacking the hidden complexities of that question, but the fact remains: Thanks to fintech’s influence, customers expect more from their banks than ever before. And with 74% of bank operations leaders identifying customer experience as their top strategic priority, financial institutions are in a heated competition to develop support for the services that engage and excite consumers.

Banks looking to modernize their operations in order to support on-demand services all face a common hurdle: how to handle their legacy systems.

Mainframes have powered banking institutions for decades, handling customer data, payments, account management, loans and savings deposits and back-office tasks. Discourse surrounding the future of legacy systems in banking has proven divisive but increasingly urgent as banks grapple with modernization.

The pros: The mainframe is the bank’s blueprint for all mission-critical processes and capabilities. Most financial institutions continue to prioritize their legacy systems. As we’ve already explored, mainframes offer:

  • Extraordinary stability and security
  • Unmatched transaction processing power
  • Little to no business risk

The cons: Mainframes are complex, expensive systems built on outdated architecture. It’s not uncommon for an institution’s legacy system to include a tangled web of mismatched code stemming from multiple additions, extensions and interfaces tacked on over the years. This kind of chaotic landscape impedes a core system’s ability to integrate with any modern technology. Beyond that, the number of legacy business and technology experts is dwindling, so finding someone equipped to detangle and further develop your mainframe can be challenging and costly. Left as-is, your legacy system can complicate communication with new technology and hinder your institution’s growth.

Planning

Begin with introspection: Developing a nuanced understanding of your existing mainframe applications and data helps guide your priorities as you plan. Legacy technology has a more significant impact on businesses than most people realize. Directly or indirectly, legacy systems can touch nearly every aspect of your operation. Be sure you have a comprehensive grasp on how interconnected your existing systems are.

Specify your goals: What are the goals of your modernization project? Do you want to move off the mainframe? Continue to build it out? Figure out what you want from your operation in order to select the best-suited solution tools.

Define scope, budget and timeline: Companies often make modernization decisions at the board level without understanding the full scope of the project. This is why modernization projects tend to take years longer and cost hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of dollars more than initially anticipated. Scope, budget and timeline all intertwine with each other, a slight change in one directly impacting the others. Avoid derailing modernization efforts by consistently monitoring the balance between these factors.

Execution

No two operations will go about modernization in the same way. Adaptigent’s team can help leverage your legacy system’s value to build a tailored, hybrid path forward while quickly establishing the technological support to meet customer demands.

Our Adaptive Integration Fabric enables you to rapidly connect your modern IT ecosystem with your core mission-critical data and transaction systems in a seamless fashion. Utilizing a patented no-code, drag-and-drop environment, non-programmers can quickly develop sophisticated interfaces to highly complex legacy platforms without in-depth technical knowledge of the applications and data sources they are accessing.

Working with a core orchestration platform designed to connect your legacy systems to modern distributed environments is critical. Creating this dynamic layer allows modern apps, like financial apps for instance, to access all the data needed in your legacy systems.

The key to unlocking the value of legacy systems to deliver business-ready data from any source is all about working with the right low-code and automated platform to tackle the business need.