The FCA Report on Implementing Technology Change.

26 Mar 2021

The FCA Report on Implementing Technology Change.

By George Ralph, RFA

The FCA recently published a report on Implementing Technology Change. Here, I consider the report and its findings.

he FCA’s recent report reflected on conversations that I have been having with our clients and prospects over the last few months. Technology change is a key driver to implementing successful business and deal flow, hitting business IT goals and also navigating the challenges we are facing in the short term, while also keeping an eye to the future. There is a lot to consider. The FCA’s report focussed on how firms manage technology change, the impact of change failures and also what practices firms are using the help reduce the impact of incidents resulting from technology change.

The report found that successful technology change is often supported by factors including strong governance, day to day risk management and increased automation of systems. These positive correlations between processes and the higher rate of success of changes within firms mirror RFA’s principles and practices in this area. We are strong supporters of establishing proper governance arrangements within each of our clients to help manage not only the technology change but also the relationship we have with them as an outsourced partner.

Another important factor that was highlighted in the report was around third parties. Sufficient oversight of vendor technology changes and increased communication could lessen the likelihood of incidents within a firm too. In 2019, the FCA reports that of all incidents reported by regulated entities, 18% were accounted for as third party incidents. One of the key areas we work on with our clients is automation of these processes. Advances in collaboration tools and the way we manage data allow us to support process change much more effectively. Managing user experience is a cornerstone of RFA’s service to our clients, and our next generation AI service model allows us to continue to deliver best in class service, even during periods of technology change.

IT infrastructure has also been high on the agenda over the past year, and the FCA’s report suggests that how IT is implemented, and ultimately delivered, to users can mitigate change risk. Building a solutions based IT architecture and reviewing it regularly allows changes to be made more quickly and with minimal disruption. RFA’s focus on building business IT solutions encompasses change management and oversight, based on a client’s specific needs.

The report also focussed on legacy technology, citing that 90% of all respondent firms were relying on some legacy infrastructure and applications to deliver production services. The report also found there was a direct correlation between this legacy infrastructure and a higher change failure rate. Again, our experience at RFA tallies with this and we work closely with clients, prospects as well as third parties to innovate change. We have seen a real drive in technology change around legacy models over the last 12 months as firms have simply had to make changes. During some periods, office-based terminals simply haven’t been accessible so alternative solutions had to be delivered, and fast.
Knowledge, planning and experience are all vital elements to implementing technology change. In the world we currently live in we have to be agile and be able to review and pivot when necessary. If you need support to help plan and implement change, please do get in touch.

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