Will legacy IT systems be the undoing of the banking sector?

Is a reliance on outdated IT concepts affecting confidence in the UK's banking sector? Rene Millman investigates...

"RBS is effectively at the consolidation stage. Lloyds has done a lot of consolidation having taken on the HBOS systems, though it has been largely consolidation onto fewer of its older systems rather than a really modern one."

Bell says that in the banks there is a "growing, but painful, realisation that IT is strategic rather than just a cost centre but it is a slow process. And that has to happen before the culture changes".

"When you're a bank you focus on the money. Until you recognise the value IT brings you..., then you are not going to focus on the right things," he says.

Can the various debacles caused by old infrastructure teach the wider industry about how to get out of the legacy timewarp?

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Said Tabet, head of governance risk and compliance at EMC, says failures in the banking sector represent both a warning and an opportunity for lessons to be learnt that other industries can take advantage of.

"Information systems will become more complex and stressed and we will continue to demand a lot more with the dream of real-time data management for better insight, better decision making and future innovations. While legacy systems so far can still handle many of the requirements and needs of most industries, that will not be true moving forward," says Tabet.

Mark Keepax, vice president at ASG Software Solutions, believes that cloud offers firms a way out of their legacy commitments.

"Implementing a sturdy cloud infrastructure can reinvent and reinvigorate business processes, making the organisation more agile, responsive and, most importantly, more cost-effective in everything from data management to BYOD and customer outreach. IT now need to go back to its roots and be seen as a business service with the first step in the new age, being to remove (if only partially) legacy IT infrastructures," he says.

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