Many banks are struggling to adequately manage the development of critical new systems because they are using 1.0 methods and technologies to address 2.0-era problems. To stay current, financial services companies must focus on two critical areas: 1) modular application design and 2) rapid, iterative development methods. By combining these two tenets, banks can create smaller, more manageable projects that can respond and adapt to market changes rapidly. By contrast, monolithic applications and projects and the use of traditional, serial methodologies are two of the biggest contributors to ballooning project costs and missed delivery deadlines -- the root causes of today's lack of alignment between IT and business.
Specifically, technologies such as service-oriented architecture help create a more user-friendly, consistent and integrated environment. Agile development methods foster much deeper collaboration and communication between IT and business users. Combined, they create much shorter development initiatives -- measured in weeks, not years. Users can test new software monthly and request changes that are implemented in a matter of weeks. Rapid development cycles enable IT to be much more flexible to meet the ever-changing demands of the business.