Banking industry promotes new common IT architecture

Following seven years of collaborative work between international banks, IT vendors, service providers and academic institutions, BIAN’s banking technology framework is ready to be put into practice at banks worldwide

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The Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) has completed the development of a globally standardised IT architecture design for banks.

Established in 2008, BIAN is an independent, member owned and not-for-profit association, which aims to build and promote a common architectural framework for banking interoperability issues.

Following seven years of collaborative work between international banks, IT vendors, service providers and academic institutions, BIAN’s banking technology framework is ready to be put into practice at banks worldwide.

Designed by members including SAP, Microsoft, IBM, UBS, PNC and ABN-AMRO, BIAN’s Service Landscape defines the standard business capabilities that make up a bank - grouped into Service Domains. By identifying the information dependencies (known as Service Operations) between these business “building blocks”, BIAN is creating a “simplified solution” to update or replace core IT systems and overcome legacy issues, BIAN said.

Service Landscape 4.0 finalises the identification of Service Domains and takes the number of defined Service Operations from 375 to nearly 2,000. BIAN anticipates that more Service Operations will come to light as banks put the framework into practice.

The model moves away from the traditional siloed approach to core banking, which relies on distinguishing between capabilities such as consumer, corporate and capital market products. With consumer demand for “always on” banking technology moving into the business sector, BIAN’s model emphasises that technology capabilities need to be shared across corporate, business and consumer functions.

The Service Operations will provide building blocks for categorising application programming interfaces (APIs). A set of functions that allow two different pieces of software to interact with one another, APIs have been a hot topic in the banking industry since chancellor George Osborne announced an initiative to encourage banks to open their APIs in the pre-election Budget – with the aim of encouraging technology collaboration across banks and alternative financial technology players. “BIAN members will now turn their attention to identifying how the Service Landscape can support this from a core banking perspective”, said BIAN.

Hans Tesselaar, executive director of BIAN, said: “BIAN members have worked tirelessly to develop this global banking IT standard that will support banks to overcome legacy IT issues and drastically cut the cost of technology integration.

“By implementing this standard on an industry and worldwide scale, banks will be able to develop and on-board innovative technology offerings without having to battle through ageing or tangled enterprise architecture, and at lower integration costs.”