The Banking Platform Vendor Development Quandary

I have discussed questions such as “Which banking platform vendor is the right one for a given financial services firm in its specific requirements context in a given country?” with Forrester clients for some time. Interestingly, the share of these discussions touching on questions such as “How viable is vendor X?” and “Is vendor Y the right one for a bank the size of mine?” is increasing. What is the reason for this?

Recent Forrester reports have shown that the 2008 and 2009 banking platform markets were not as active as before the crisis (see the Forrester report “Global Banking Platform Deals 2009”). In addition, the most active region (Asia Pacific) is not necessarily the most attractive one as far as size of projects budgets are concerned (see the Forrester report “Global Banking Platform Deals 2009: Regions And Functionality”).  

It is clear that in such a global situation, the reduced deal numbers of many vendors and the economic trouble of some are reason for concern for many delivery teams making or supporting the long-term decision for a new banking platform vendor — particularly when preliminary findings from a Forrester survey show a new thrust for the renewal of the financial service application landscape. At the same time, banking platform vendors’ behavior is changing:

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Highlights Of Agile 2010 From Tom And Dave


Dave: Tom Grant and I spent the past week in Orlando at Agile 2010 and thought it would be good to share our observations of a fantastic event. This conference has been running for 9 years and during those years has always tried to both balance content and scale with focus and intimacy. This year I think they got it just right.

Tom: Among many virtues of the yearly Agile conference is its ability to be simultaneously high concept and eminently practical. You find yourself in a conversation that’s down in the weeds of build and test methodologies but then veers into a philosophical discussion of what the term “value stream” really means. You can see how, by entering the mainstream, Agile forces a fresh look at everything from SOPs to values.

Dave: This year’s event featured the now-familiar smorgasbord of sessions, from Agile for beginners to advanced topics like scaling and technology support. In addition to the physical sessions, a lot of discussions moved in and out of “open space” where participants could build their own content and sessions. Aside from increasing the number of interactions around an event, open space generates additional energy within the event. Many times, I tried to walk from point A to point B, only to stop and listen to a heated discussion on a particular topic.

Tom: Unfortunately, after the event, some of this energy dissipates. The Agile community really needs a community hub, a site that serves the needs of beginners and veterans across a wide range of topics. 

Dave: Because of the sheer scope of the conference, there was no one theme, but if I were to pick three, they would be (1) UX design and Agile, (2) development operations (dev ops) and continuous delivery, and (3) technical debt.

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