From Bust to Robust: How IT Solutions Will Help Companies Return from the Brink - Page 2

Implementing a risk and financial management solution

A solution that serves both IT and business users? Some might call that utopia. The more cynical among us might call it a serious threat: experienced IT managers know that "business needs" and "system realities" don't always match up, and business needs are often believed to trump IT realities. So, the new breed of FIT solutions must also quickly and seamlessly integrate with other systems already in place-and they must have champions on both sides of the business/IT divide.

Every new solution implementation must account for the complexities of the individual business, but below are three tips on how to implement a holistic risk and financial management solution that will bring business benefits without sacrificing IT sanity.

Tip No. 1: Consider both your front office and your back office priorities

In the past, front office IT and business priorities have often taken precedence over the lower-profile back office systems. Customer relationship management (CRM) software, ATM interface products and the like were far more critical in an environment where getting and keeping market share was the biggest pain point. Market share will continue to matter in the downturn, but the information managed in the front office environment must relate to what's happening behind the scenes.

Take ATMs, for example. Business and IT managers should be talking not just about how to market to customers at the point of withdrawal, but how to use customer withdrawal information to know when too many customers are taking out money at once, posing a potential risk for the business.

Tip No. 2: Pretend you live on Wall Street

Even if you're not in the financial services business, start thinking about your systems as if you were. Imagine that all your data carried critical, underlying risks. How would you funnel it through the business, who would have access, and how would it feed into reports you deliver to your boss, your employees and your board?