Developing new talent and products and expanding into new markets is all part of the business growth journey, but it also needs to be managed effectively.
For a company to gain the full benefit of its expansion plans it is crucially important that the systems driving its operations are working efficiently – and that includes getting the underlying technology up to speed.
Too many firms still rely on outdated, clunky legacy systems that are costly to run and maintain, and which do not allow them to maximise their potential, says Scott McGlinchey, chief executive of digital solutions company Exception.
He believes too many companies are failing to keep up with the pace of change in today’s rapidly-evolving digital economy. Too many, he says, are relying on legacy systems that are slow, inefficient, and a drain on company resources.
“If companies do not step up and adopt the latest technologies they will be left behind and probably won’t survive,” he says.
His Edinburgh-based firm has worked with many of the UK’s biggest companies, including Lloyds Banking Group, Edinburgh Airport and Direct Line. It has just published a ‘white paper’ entitled Integration as a Cloud Service which sets out the benefits of moving operations to the cloud.
Exception has worked across a number of sectors – it developed an app for the Ryder Cup organisers and has serviced the criminal justice system – but is focusing its new strategy on the financial services industry. It helped Clydesdale Bank build its ‘B’ digital platform, for instance. Now it is assisting firms moving legacy systems to the cloud.
It says the cloud offers an opportunity to deliver integration in a sway that meets business needs with the flexibility needed to support the pace of change. It argues that old-style mainframes can be replaced by more agile systems that deliver service on demand, thereby reducing cost.
“It will ensure that organisations are not left sweating traditional assets long after they have ceased to be useful and that investment can be more beneficially focused to meet emerging customer and stakeholder needs,” says the paper.
McGlinchey points to recent research saying financial services firms could cut their IT operational costs by as much as half and create more secure systems by moving their data and applications to the cloud.
“The cost of maintaining legacy systems is massive,” says McGlinchey. “Companies need to be more fleet of foot and respond to the changes taking place.”
Exception has been around since 2002 and McGlinchey, who joined the firm three years later, says it has quietly built an enviable position in the market, especially in the financial services sector. It offers the full range of cloud, software development, programme delivery and assurance, and intelligent client services. Group revenue in the past three years has grown from £26 million in 2016 to £30m last year.
It is developing its capabilities in newer technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things, voice recognition, mobile apps and augmented reality. The company works with a number of partners including Amazon Web Services, Docker and ServiceNow, but it is client agnostic.
Alasdair Hendry, head of transformation and consulting, says clients are seeing the benefit of tackling legacy systems, particularly where they have bolted on acquisitions and found themselves trying to manage systems that don’t fit easily together.
Added to that, fintech businesses are developing new products and methods, from internal tools to customer-facing services, which are being adopted by banks and other financial services institutions. In many cases these have to be made operational and fit for purpose.
Hendry says: “We make sure things are brought together so the equipment is aligned with what the business needs.”
Download the Integration as a Cloud Service Whitepaper here:
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