What to know about the network evolution in banking

Financial companies are under pressure to evolve digitally

by AT&T Business Editorial Team

Financial services executives are at a crossroads, and they want to accelerate the journey.

Driven by exponential growth in data, the need for analytics, and a demand for bandwidth driven by mobility and apps, both executives and the network are under pressure to evolve and deliver. A third of banking executives surveyed by KPMG expect a major technology disruption to occur in their industry over the next three years, while more than half (56 percent) say they are already actively disrupting their own sector.

It’s clear: Digital transformation, according to the September KPMG study, is happening.

As a result, 80 percent of all banking CEOs surveyed plan to increase their investment in digital infrastructure over the next three years. Much of that spend will go toward the network, as Lori MacVittie, Senior Product Manager of Emerging Technologies at F5, wrote in a recent article.

"The network is the business’ circulatory system, pumping its life-sustaining data in a constant flow from consumer to partner to supplier and back," MacVittie says. "Without a fast, secure network, digital transformation becomes impossible, because it relies on apps that rely on services that rely on the network.”

Several technologies are helping to shape network transformation, including software-defined networking (SDN) and on-demand network functions virtualization (NFV), laying the foundation for other disruptive technologies. These next-gen networking technologies are especially important to the banking industry, which, like other industries, is looking to:   

  • control costs   
  • improve security   
  • provide mobile and remote options to better serve customers

“Network functions virtualization and software-defined networking will play increasingly large roles in the future of networking, converting what used to be specialized hardware or local virtual machines into software running in the cloud," wrote Craig Mathias, Principal at the Farpoint Group, in a recent article. "All management functions, including analytics, will reside in the cloud, providing full-function, extensible, manage-anywhere flexibility and unprecedented resilience and reliability.”  

Managed services are also taking center stage. For example, organizations are turning to network on-demand functionality, a managed cloud-based service that enables enterprise users to run multiple virtual network functions from a single server.

AT&T is at the forefront of this work, setting ambitious goals for its own network backbone to support its customers. The network upgrades create a better experience for banking customers, a primary goal for executives. A recent IDG-AT&T survey found 73 percent of business and IT leaders in the banking industry agree that digital optimization can help improve customer satisfaction.

“What we’re seeing is significant transformation at the branch level, and at the call center and corporate levels,” says Kimberly Munsell of AT&T Global Business Solutions. “They are modernizing legacy systems and creating collaborative integrative elements across all customer touch points in the branch, mobile, kiosks, and specialists.”

AT&T is a leading provider of integrated solutions for business, powered by the global network with more secure connections than any other provider in North America. To learn more about digital transformation in the finance industry, visit our Financial Services solutions page.


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