First, we had to determine if this was a tactical or strategic change. Is it more of the same, or were we trying to do something that will bring more value to the organization? At the end of the day, a banking system is really a product/service engine, and banks must determine if the new system will fit into the overall corporate strategy.
It's important to look at the potential impact of a core system replacement. Is it an opportunity to clean up the mess you've had for the past 30 years? Is it an opportunity to refresh your offering in the eyes of your customers? The complete conversion will take a lot of time, and a company must be prepared for changes of enormous magnitude. A core systems replacement must be viewed as an enterprise project (rather than an IT project) in which every executive has a sponsorship of one sort or another.
North Shore CU puts a premium on customer relationships, so the new banking system needed to fit within that strategy. We were also looking for better data management. We segment quite a bit with our business intelligence strategy, and our banking engine contains a lot of behavioral data. We must be able to get information out across multiple channels and be able to act upon it. Business alignment was a critical factor as well; fundamentally, this system is a business driver and not a technology driver.