Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) appears to be a technology of proven merit and growing in the banking sector, according to a study by the European Business School (EBS), sponsored by SAP. Among the management staff of the 100 largest banks in the world surveyed, approximately 50 percent already use a standard software ERP, when 14 percent shows intentions to buy this type of solutions.
Five years ago, packages standard accounted for less than 40 percent of software used in banks, but EBS expects the number to reach 60 percent over the next few years.
The passage to the standard software denotes a major change in the position of banks, which traditionally preferred to bet on the use of software systems developed and customized internally. The choice for solutions standard it appears as a response to tougher competition, lower margins, new legal requirements, and increasingly mergers and acquisitions.
«Competitive pressures have forced banks to focus on how to integrate IT systems, using existing IT assets, creating value, while, on the other hand, building and implementing additional solutions or undergoing a merger or acquisition» , stands out in the study.
Improving the efficiency of business processes and the need for greater transparency and quality of information are the two main reasons cited for the adoption of an ERP system in the banking sector, according to respondents. Ease of use is also cited as a key factor in purchasing decisions.
Most of the surveyed banks, close to 60 percent, prefer to use IT solutions from several suppliers, rather than purchase all the software to a single manufacturer. Integration emerges as an important factor for banks involved in mergers and acquisitions, where the integration of data from multiple IT scenarios is necessary, the study emphasizes.
In identifying the main criteria for the successful implementation of an ERP system, bank managers point to the support of senior management, the existence of accurate guidelines and the early involvement of users.
From the exhaustive survey to the management staff of the banking sector, EBS also concludes that the evolution of IT systems towards flexible, adaptable, service-oriented architectures, which facilitate integration, will make the standard software ERP increasingly attractive to banks.
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