Traditionally weighed down by legacy infrastructure and cumbersome processes, financial institutions are now compelled to embrace innovation and think differently.
Agility is now the keyword for the banking sector, and it is an approach enabled by new technologies that require the kind of expertise and know-how organisations can only get by partnering with competent specialists.
Just as banks rely on partners to implement and operate these new infrastructures, vendors of core banking software depend on these same partners to maximise the potential of their solution. This makes it necessary for the vendor to ensure they provide managed services partners (MSP) with the right tools to set them up for success.
Widespread adoption of the cloud and open application programming interfaces (APIs) mean that managed service providers are now capable of providing a standardised platform on which banks can innovate. This new-found agility enables banks to become successful faster and improves their resilience by making them more responsive to changing market conditions.
As cloud-native organisations, this puts MSPs in a strong position to become enablers of digital transformation. By partnering with a core banking software vendor that builds on this opportunity, MSPs can transition their customers to a software-led managed service model that encourages banks to move away from expensive and cumbersome bespoke services.
There is a significant market opportunity for MSPs to leverage their experience and deliver and maintain a best-in-class managed service finance offering for tier three, four and five banks, giving these clients access to the same solutions as top-tier banks.
One of the key drivers behind this opportunity is a large appetite for cloud adoption in the lower-tier segment of the market. If you look at a list of new and challenger banks globally, it reads like a who’s who of case studies for the public cloud. Even older challenger banks that did not have the benefit of mature public cloud in their infancy have since migrated or are in the process of doing so.
The reason for this is that public cloud platforms, like Microsoft Azure, are key to unlocking agility. It is upon this infrastructure that organisations can plug in core banking solutions and commercialise them quickly, avoiding the two-year implementation time required by the traditional on-premises model.
An MSP is there to help their clients migrate to the cloud with minimal disruption and to plug in attractive solutions, like those from Finastra, to help them win in a hungry market. An effective partner programme helps MSPs scale independently of the solution vendor, with an approach that is then replicable across other projects – setting the partner up with a highly scalable operation.
If software vendors successfully upskill their partners with the capability to provide additional services to their clients with a focus around the management of a bank’s cloud infrastructure, they are setting them up for success in an untapped market. In many cases, MSPs have deeper subject matter expertise than software vendors and they are armed with considerable insight and knowledge relevant to their local market. The only piece of the jigsaw they are often missing is access to an effective software portfolio.
As digital transformation projects mature, MSPs can help their clients catch up and get ahead of the curve with cloud-based banking software from vendors such as Finastra, leveraging the shift in ownership model from capital expenditure to operational expenditure.
This evolution is attractive, especially for lower-tier banks, as it reduces their total cost of ownership for infrastructure, while transferring risk and allowing them to focus more on their business priorities than their technological debt.
An effective partner – and by extension, an effective partner programme – can enable reliable and high-quality project delivery, using best-of-breed finance applications and offering end-to-end bank operations at predictable costs.
In terms of the software vendor’s partner programme, this needs to deliver the resources and capabilities the partner requires to help their business grow through a proactive approach to engagement and onboarding. For Finastra, this is core to setting up MSPs to deliver a comprehensive and satisfying digital transformation journey for their clients and at the same time giving partners the opportunity to become the face of Finastra in their local market.
Levente Rozsahegyi is senior director of managed services at Finastra
This article was originally published in the Spring 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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