Information Technology and Integrated Financial Services

David Gass

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Financial institutions are on the verge of needing a major face-lift and can benefit immensely when they forge partnerships with Information Technology (IT) firms, enabling both service providers to provide quality, top-notch service. The existing financial institutions are forced to spend large fortunes to get the latest technologies in areas such as enterprise performance management, corporate banking and treasury management.

Importance of Integrating IT and Financial Services:

In order for these financial institutions to grow, they need the proper IT infrastructure to give value added services to existing clients, thereby creating new growth from the existing client base. They have to integrate IT with their services logistically and strategically to be successful. Together with the IT industry, they have to create partnerships that will enable them to have excellent insight in marketing and risk and performance management. They have to devise techniques where they can keep operating costs low while maintaining the capacity and techniques implemented to generate growth.

This is especially true for banking sectors in Western Europe and North America. Good IT infrastructures are essential to achieving the goals of the financial institutions. Using the latest advances in information technology, financial institutions can become established leaders in emerging markets such as the Far East. With the right IT infrastructure, financial institutions can deal with more sophisticated and demanding customers with ease and agility. This process will be even easier when the IT industry is integrated with the financial institution.

IT and Integrated Financial Services:

Combining these disciplines can also be very useful while taking into consideration compliance issues. There are so many compliance regulations, such as Basel II, accounting standards such as IAS, IFRS and the famous (or infamous) Sarbanes-Oxley act, that financial institutions have realized the importance of IT regarding compliance issues. They have also realized how the IT sector aids in their growth and makes day-to-day functions easier to manage. Integrated systems can help key management personnel make important decisions based on the results of the accurate reports produced by the various IT systems used.

Banking and insurance intuitions are involved in the process of turning valuable information into revenue and much-needed profits. Both sectors are concerned with and demand good IT systems to provide adequate security to ensure fraud prevention, and good techniques to safeguard sensitive information.

The financial institutions have to clearly identify their IT needs, form partnerships with appropriate providers and use the IT infrastructure in an effective way. They must ensure that their goals are reached with no compromises, as well as ensure that they follow all rules and regulatory compliance issues by having their IT infrastructure partner or provider follow those rules while managing and storing essential data. Therefore, the concept of IT and integrated financial services has to be studied carefully.

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