Agility: The FCA Resiliency Countdown and How Enterprise Architecture Can Help

The FCA Resiliency Countdown and How Enterprise Architecture Can Help

Being agile is now a necessity. To compete in today’s crowded market, organizations must optimize and innovate their technology. This starts with building an agile infrastructure which is resilient against changing market trends and external threats and adhering to the requirements outlined by the Statement of Policy on Operational Resilience.

That brings us to the second part of our four part series, where we’ll be exploring how the banking sector can become truly agile. 

Resiliency is something that is coming up more and more in conversations with the C-suite. Whether as a result of the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority statement, the pandemic, or other external forces, it is an increasing priority for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs). 

If clarity is about setting the foundation and making an inventory of what you have within your business (outlined in blog one - you can read it here), agility is about being able to assemble technologies that already exist, using them in a meaningful way and adapting them to match changing business requirements.  If clarity is about determining where you want to go in the future, agility is about deciding how you are going to get there. 

In practical terms, it is about understanding how processes, technology, and business capabilities impact customer experience. This is where Enterprise Architecture comes in, as it is a key component to aligning IT with business strategy.

As the pandemic closed bank branches, consumers increased their use of online banking and touchless payment. Digital service became an imperative, even for typically high-touch transactions such as mortgages. A strong understanding of customer touchpoints, and the business capabilities and technology supporting transactions allowed agile banks to redeploy staff and pivot quicker to digital solutions.

It’s time to go digital 

Moving systems to the cloud is proving to be a great enabler of flexibility and agility. Going digital is therefore a must-have as it gives businesses the ability to be agile, respond and adapt quickly to change. According to industry research, 68% of CIOs ranked “migrating to and/or expanding cloud" as the top IT spending driver in 2021. Cloud capabilities can simplify the process for organizations to deploy and scale new solutions on top of their tech stack as well as help them move at the speed their customers and employees demand. By moving to the cloud, businesses can take advantage of its flexibility, remote access and maintenance or upgrade benefits. 

The FCA Statement was born out of the regulators’ realization that financial services firms are facing increasing challenges in managing operational disruption. Its objective is to ensure regulated service providers have “agility by identifying and implementing solutions to address vulnerabilities and meet impact tolerances”.

Having said this, financial institutions should look at this as more than just another financial services regulation they need to comply with. Rather, view its potential commercial benefit and as a way to increase their longevity of the Enterprise. 

Notably, the consulting firm Oliver Wyman also mentions that the business benefits of achieving operational resilience go beyond pure risk and compliance, but should become an inherent part of a firm’s value proposition. 

According to Deloitte, "the ability to imagine their own future failure and consider a broad range of strategic, operational and regulatory risks will be a key driver of organizations’ long-term resilience and success”.  

In that case, now is the time to embrace new technologies in order to create robust and agile organizations that can navigate the ever evolving landscape.