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  • Corey Gill

    ​​Deputy Hea​​d,​ ​S​​ales

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  • Nirmal Purohit

    ​IT Strategy Consultant and Advisor with expertise in IT Simplification, Digital Transformation and Outsourcing & Shared Services specializing in Financi​al Serv​ices.​

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Mar 18
Decommissioning – The Road Less Traveled

While the business understands new application development relatively better, I find that it gets a bit defensive about shutting off applications. A deeper analysis throws some interesting factors.

In my experience dealing with technology portfolios for my various clients, I have noticed large number of applications adding to the overall complexity while not adding any explicit value. These applications are functionally integrated with other applications however their usage is minimal or practically down to zero. Moreover there may be other well-qualified applications in the portfolio which achieve the same functionality, however like Bruce Willis, these non-value applications simply die hard.

It is not that business isn't aware of applications that are hardly used and can be entirely removed from the landscape. Then why wouldn't business simply pull the plug and simplify the portfolio? The fear stems from various factors – high business risks, management hassles, and low concrete benefits. A two-by-two may help understand the business mindset with respect to decommissioning:

 

Unless mandated from the top, decommissioning is not an initiative that one is willing to take on his or her own. There is a fair risk of disturbing the existing production serenity while plucking the rotten fruits out of the tree that they have been on, since years. Getting approval from all stakeholders is clearly a challenge, where each stakeholder evaluates their own set of risks to benefits. The cost savings may remain notional until the underlying infrastructure gets utilized for a new entrant. If the applications are indeed non-critical and not used, there might be hardly any maintenance or enhancement effort spent. In fact, decoupling will be an additional activity to take on for decommissioning. The software licence may be the only absolute saving, but it largely depends on whether it is system-based or user count-based, which may turn out to be too low to nudge. Moreover, Decommissioning doesn't even sound as glamorous & strategic as the Digital does. Sounds like asking a child to choose between Spinach and a Pizza?

So what does it take to decommission and de-clutter the application portfolio? Two critical requisites:

a) Mitigate the risks by robust decommissioning governance & processes and

b) Reduce the decommissioning costs for benefits to outweigh.

Both of them can simultaneously be achieved by deploying a Decommissioning Factory approach, which is a low-cost model with proven repeatable process, along with a systemic Workflow mechanism with clear stakeholder responsibility & visibility to the top. A Decommissioning factory encompasses having a process similar to assembly-line with clearly defined check-list that can be executed by remote teams and a central dashboard to track actual progress & approvals. Placing gate-keeping stages such as Application Islanding & Hibernating at proper places can reduce business risks further and alleviate management anxieties. Until decommissioning becomes a well-oiled discipline under Application Lifecycle Management, one-off initiatives will be required to keep the house clean.

De-cluttering a portfolio and simplifying the architecture has its other additional benefits, which can be reaped into running other transformational digital initiatives.​​​

Mar 03
The Top 5 benefits using Advanced Analytics with Big Data 

Analytics and Information Management technology provides cost-efficient, risk-effective solutions that allow you to unlock the value of your data for your business... But what's in it for your customers? 

VIP Service 

​​Imagine walking into your branch and having reception greet you by name already having alerted your financial advisor that you have arr​ived.

​Our AI​M practice can analyze your business, data and applications to ensure your customers recognize how important they are to you. 

Value Added Services 

How valuable would it be to know that a service or product you are contemplating will be embraced by your customer?

AIM solutions can leverage your data to accurately predict what services customers actually need… and would actually use! 

Customer Protection 

Your customers are extremely interested in knowing what your business is doing to protect them; why not tell them?

Using AIM, your website, mobile applications and internal tools can benefit from all the information you have; everyone can be in the know and support will know no bounds. 

Proactive Support 

Consider the benefit of alerting your customer proactively of the impacts of legislation such as Basel III, FATCA and the OECD.

AIM offers something most have not considered; proactive support. Again, not simply responding to changing economics and regulations, but actually consulting on a customer's portfolio to advise of investment options, retirement objectives or diversification of holdings! 

Client Empowerment 

What if your customer could tell you exactly what they need from you without actually saying the words?

​AIM technologies can provide you unique insights into your customer's habits allowing you to understand what would benefit them based solely on the information you've gathered! 

With L&T Infotech's AIM solution, the 'know your customer' / 'protect your customer' approach can easily feed applications, dashboards and reports that inform your team in real-time; opening the door to enabling your customer. Learn more by visiting us at www.lntinfotech.com/financialservices

Feb 26
How to use Big Data to gain your client’s trust

Most understand Big Data, in its simplest form, as the collection of information about a business, its customers, and their interactions (with their business and beyond). From a business perspective, while this information can lead to new, targeted, opportunities and increased efficiency, a client may be left wondering if they shared too much, or if they will actually reap any future benefits.

A wise company (and a wise partner for a company) will address these concerns by leveraging 'Big Data' to improve their customer's specific experience while limiting the intrusiveness of the information they leverage to do so. This means using Analytics and Information Management (AIM) to make the 'Big Data' gathered both relevant and meaningful. In my experience, I have found this is most effective when efforts are focused on four simple customer-centric approaches: Know Your Customer, Protect Your Customer, Support Your Customer, and Empower Your Customer.

Know Your Customer

Most companies venture down the path of 'Big Data' with the best intentions; specifically to pre-emptively improve their customer's interaction with them. The desired "360 degree view" of the customer is truly intended to understand habits, patterns, preferences and needs to ensure a customer's interaction with a business is efficient, effective and pleasant.  

What many miss is an improved ability to service the customer in a VIP format. The use of smart phone apps, beaconing solutions and social media insights now allows us to recognize a customer across many mediums. Leveraging this information enables a business to provide value added services; identifying a customer the moment they walk through the door and servicing them with insight by knowing their concerns, understanding their likes and addressing them proactively. 

Protect Your Customer

As businesses we focus on protecting our clients with fervor, but we tend to shelter our customers from this activity as the concepts of global risk reporting, anti-money laundering, risk-based reporting and regulatory compliance are thought to be "boring" to the typical customer. 

This is increasingly not the case. As much as 'Big Data' has enabled businesses to be aware of their customers, it has also allowed customers to become more aware of their providers. Gone are the days when customers accepted providers protected them against risks. Data losses, publicized hacking and the availability of information on the Internet have heightened customer awareness of risk – they now expect to be proactively informed of the actions your business is taking to protect them. 

Support Your Customer 

Traditional support is enhanced when leveraging 'Big Data'. Phone, web chat, and email support all come with enhancements when a provider references information about the customer they are communicating with real-time. 

Imagine being able to alert your customer to the impacts of changing government regulations, or consulting on a customer's portfolio to advise of investment options, retirement objectives or diversification of holdings leveraging current market and customer information. 

Empowering Your Customer 

This is possibly the most complex of the four customer-centric approaches as it requires the combining of 'Big Data' and ordinary data (that data which is captured through the normal course of business) but using logic to determine the "so what" of this combination. This can include:

  • The elimination of challenges introduced by disparate global systems for customers you know to travel frequently. Enabling a variety of payment options for them to limit foreign exchange costs, credit card limitations and mobile device restrictions.
  • Improving transparency & predictability of investments during economically difficult times; both global and individual
  • Embrace new technologies that attract a new client base that demand a more virtual and nimble provider, or
  • Ensuring your representatives abroad can address the needs of the intrepid traveler that requires local support in a number of places around the globe!

The options are virtually limitless when AIM is used to interpret 'Big Data' effectively.

It's a daunting journey to embark on; putting the 'Big Data' we collect to good use. The battle for many will raise eyebrows, speak doubt and even push back on the trend. But the smart provider, the one that knows, protects, supports and enables their customer, will reap the benefits and gain confidence quickly.​

Jan 21
DIGITALIZATION – A JOURNEY TO CREATE A DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM

Innovations in technology have allowed digitalization to pick up momentum.  But what does it all mean, and more importantly, how does it affect your company?

The term Digitalization has been defined in several ways.

Gartner sees digitalization as "an emerging business model that includes extension and support of electronic channels, content and transactions, created by blurring of digital and physical worlds" whereas the Business Dictionary has termed it an "integration of digital technologies into everyday life by the digitization of everything that can be digitized'.

My experience as a Digital Banking Consultant has taught me that digitalization is actually a little bit of both.

Digitalization is the creation of innovative business models designed to drive outstanding customer experience and operational efficiencies with a view to creating a Digital Ecosystem with other digital partners. Or more simply put, it's a journey toward making the digital world aware of the physical one and one in which a digital entity either replaces a physical entity, or simply duplicates it. (Here I deliberately use the term 'journey', because there will always be some aspect of the physical world that the digital world is not aware of, but would like to know more about.)

Below are a few other basic principles I picked up along my journey toward a deeper understanding of digitalization.

From Physical to Digital

Boiled down to its bare essentials, there are three common forms of digital interaction: Human-to-Human (H2H), Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Machine-to-Human (M2H). Only once a digital presence has been established can an entity begin to interact with others in the digital world. These interactions are then digitized through Internet-Of-Things (IOT) and Social Media.

In order to connect the IOT and Social Media worlds, every product entity needs an equivalent social presence, and every human requires a consumer profile in the IOT world. A user can also connect directly with an organization's digital presence through its website and/or mobile app.

Mobility and wearable technology can play a role by digitalizing by recording physical activities in digital format. For instance, Nike introduced wearable gadgets to track & score your progress and LECHAL shoes come equipped with a GPS to navigate the user.

The Latent Value of Data

Large amounts of data generated through Social Media and IOT can only be leveraged through Analytics. While a product-making company may generate and collect all data related to its own product, an in-depth analysis of the raw data is required in order to gain further insight into its operations.

An organization may have to gather insights from multiple sources and/or conduct its own research to make an informed decision for a defined agenda. For instance, the sales team might collect insights to improve its customer service and marketing in order to improve product design. The organization will have to make an informed choice as which data source to trust and which one to consider as irrelevant noise.

Digital Ecosystem for Consumer Experience

Not all aforementioned technologies are required by a company. The extent of IOT, mobility & wearables depend on the type of industry and its customer touch-points. However, it is largely driven by consumers interacting at various service delivery touch-points. The consumers are becoming empowered by the number of choices available to them, and they are looking for a superior experience across the value chain.

A product company might collect data that has a better use outside its organization and will extract value through data monetization. For instance, an automotive company may monetize data on user driving habits by partnering with an insurance company. Much like gold mining, quite a bit of sifting, sorting and extracting is required before one can make use of the end product. The key to success is in realizing the potential value of this information for external parties.

Organizations will share this insight in the form of subscription services (real-time API or data feeds) so as to create a sort-of 'Insight Exchange' and subsequently learn to rate such insight-based services by Accuracy, Relevance and Depth. Several partnerships will be fostered through such an exchange—the result of which is an integrated digital ecosystem.

To succeed in a digital world, it's imperative that organizations strengthen their Analytics and API competence to make sense of raw data and APIs and develop an interchange with other players.

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About this blog
No, this isn't actually my picture. I just haven't gotten around to updating this section. It's good to know that someone is reading every last word though. Thanks!