The decline of incremental software

For much of the last thirty years or more incremental functionality and business value has been equated to incremental software.  We have discovered a new need, let’s assess the need and find or build a suitable package, or system..

Banks are starting to look for a new type of benefit, and this is more difficult to achieve with incremental software as quite often it’s the myriad of systems that is the challenge and adding more systems is counter intuitive.  Quite often the desire is for operational agility and flexibility in change — both are supported by simplicity.

The solution is to build a plan for the landscape that reduces the total number of systems by replacing dated low feature density packages with new high density packages.  While the hardware folks have been busy outfitting more transistors onto an integrated circuit the software folks have also been busy adding more and more features into packages.  The result is such that a single package should be able to eliminate several others.

This applies in all areas: channels, core banking, trading systems — but this approach isn’t necessarily easily achieved.

Quite often the focus is on implementing the new functionality rather than cleaning up the systems left behind.  It can also be a challenge to unwind legacy integration points and re-establish these in the new environment.  The key here is having the road map for the landscape to help guide the decisions towards an end state blueprint.

So the days of continual landscape expansion are coming to a close and we are going to see carefully planned and more efficient transformations focused on creating simplicity and reducing complexity.

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