Banking Services and Doggy Treats: What’s on your bank’s IT manager’s mind right now.

When my wife goes to the bank, she brings the dog, and the auto-teller at the other end of the tube usually sends a doggy treat back along with the transaction receipt.  But mostly she does our banking from her home computer (which keeps the dog from being overweight).  This started me wondering if anyone actually walks into a bank anymore.  And in this era of “faceless” banking, how are all of our banking activities connected, what are the IT pros at my bank considering as they go about their business and how, as part of one of the world’s largest network providers, can I better support them?

So, here’s a look at the top five things your bank’s IT manager is likely thinking about right now (in no particular order):

  1. Information Sharing:  Most banks have a geography-based distribution of branches throughout your city, region, state, and in some cases, the world.  And all of those branches need to communicate with each other, with headquarters, with the data centers where customers’ information lives, and with the customers’ mobile devices as they access account information.  IT managers need their network to be sophisticated enough to handle these geographic challenges.
  2. Performance: The hallmark of successful information sharing is the speed at which data can travel from Point A to Point Q making the network’s overall performance critical.  Latency and packet loss mean lost business.
  3. Security: The banking industry deals regularly with highly sensitive, highly personal data.  Ensuring the network over which this data flows is fully secure so that customers’ deposit records or PIN numbers aren’t compromised is fundamental, especially as online and mobile banking continue to grow.
  4. BCDR: Given the confidential and important nature of the data, an IT manager must consider the overall make-up of the network to ensure against loss of data in the event of system breach.  Redundancy can make all the difference when your branch in Florida is hit by a hurricane.
  5. Cost efficiencies: As in all businesses, IT managers are looking to implement network communications that will enable their bank to stay technologically competitive while keeping within their budget.

Banks should leverage the expertise of a trusted network service provider to collaboratively design a solution that works today, yet provides a platform that can “flex” as business dynamics change.  For example, MPLS IP VPN services are best suited to inter-branch communications, while switched Ethernet solutions are a good fit for data center-to-branch communications, and dedicated private lines are appropriate for headquarters-to-datacenter communications.  The service provider’s solutions designers can help to identify application performance, security, diversity, and service reach requirements with budget and resource constraints, then map out an implementation strategy that meets customers’ expectations, delivers a return on investment today, and offers an efficient evolution consistent the business’s longer term road map.

And if they are really good – they might even find a way to provide home delivery of the doggy treats.

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The Level 3 Editor manages content for Level 3's Beyond Bandwidth blog.

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