London - 26 October 2006

The piecemeal development of banking systems over the last 30 years has left many banks with a combination of technologies that are, at best, difficult to integrate or, at worst, nearly impossible to change quickly enough to maintain competitive edge. New research from TowerGroup finds that service-oriented architecture (SOA) is poised to deliver the near-seamless integration of business functionality retail banks have been seeking to respond more nimbly to market opportunities and pressures.

According to TowerGroup, SOA can be viewed as the coordinated use of new and existing technologies to increase the reusability of business components and processes. This would speed up development of new applications and products, decrease maintenance costs, and more efficiently leverage legacy systems.

Over the last two decades, many architectural paradigms have been created to overcome the challenge of integration. Yet none have demonstrated the elegance and technological simplicity of SOA. Attracting the attention of many CEOs and CIOs, SOA is the latest technological model to take on the siloed technology architectures still present within most large banks. TowerGroup believes that institutions which succeed in implementing SOA-enabled capabilities will see gains in a competitive advantage given SOA’s role in helping reduce costs and improve customer service and sales.

The report titled, “The SOA Challenge: New People, New Models, New Ways,” by Jerry Silva, research director of the Delivery Channels and Retail Banking practices at TowerGroup, discusses the current thinking behind SOA at US-based retail banks, highlights the challenges posed by an SOA strategy, and offers guidelines for institutions just beginning the path to SOA.

At TowerGroup, Mr. Silva oversees research in the areas of core banking, transaction processing, customer information and relationship systems, and customer interaction systems. He can also provide insight into underlying infrastructures technologies like TCP/IP and VoIP and security.

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