Andrew Jurgenson

Software Flexibility as a Critical Growth Driver

Gabriel Morgan defined flexibility on his Microsoft Developer Blog as, “The ease with which a system or component can be modified for use in applications or environments other than those for which it was specifically designed”

Software flexibility has powered massive growth for companies in many industries. My colleague, Ashish Bhatia, wrote this in his recent article about the lessons we can learn from Amazon: “Over the past two decades, Amazon started by changing the way the world buys books, and then disrupted the entire landscape of the retail industry.” Amazon’s software powered their book selling website, and within a few years, it successfully morphed into a platform for selling everything from toilet paper to televisions– all by allowing their software to be flexible.

In the banking sector, software flexibility is crucial to continued growth. As an example, let’s take a deeper look at mobile check deposit.

Apple released the first iteration of the iPhone ten years ago, and a year later, opened the App Store, which caused a technological revolution. Now, many of us cannot imagine how our lives would be different without the convenience of a smartphone in our pockets to check Facebook, order delivery, check our account balances, or settle an argument with a quick Google search.

With this revolutionary smartphone technology, people began to stray from using their desktop or laptop computers in favor of mobility. Steve Jobs, Former CEO of Apple, called it the ‘Post-PC Era’. Apple combined smartphone use with third-party apps, and eventually, this created the current need for smartphone-based mobile check deposits. It’s now second nature for millions of people to open their mobile banking smartphone app, take a picture of a check, and confirm its deposit directly into their account.

Before the iPhone was introduced in 2007, check processing software was never designed to work with mobile deposits. Today, if a financial institution does not offer mobile deposits, it is probably losing deposit market share. Banking software vendors took the plunge to add mobile transactions to their check deposit capture channels.

As technology has progressed, Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) have begun to sprout up at financial institutions across the globe. ITMs provide the convenience of ATMs and add video chat with a live teller or customer service employee when needed. Technology like this is yet another illustration of the need for flexible software that can be adapted to fulfill shifting user experiences.

Ultimately, flexible software allows for adoption of the Omni-Channel Banking model of today’s financial institutions. For more information on Omni-Channel Banking, check out our blog post, “Industry Insights: All Channels Matter, But It’s About the Experience.”