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Infosys’ Digital Services Strategy for Banking & Financial Services

I recently attended the Infosys Confluence event in California to look at the vendor’s activities in banking & financial services (BFS). Here are the key takeaways.

Under its current CEO, Infosys has taken a new software-agnostic approach to digital business, which is yielding results. Infosys has proprietary platforms, including Finacle, for core banking and NIA for AI. However, Infosys’ primary clients in financial services, tier one global banks, have legacy platforms they are unwilling to replace and digital solutions they have decided to standardize on for future implementations.

For Infosys, the software-agnostic approach means they structure their services to enable plugging in any solution the client prefers, enabling it within an IT ecosystem that will meet the business objectives of the client. To achieve that goal, Infosys has developed Digital Navigation Framework, which it announced at the conference. The five components of the framework are:

  • Design +: digital design services to improve customer experience. Infosys has acquired several design agencies including Wongdoody and Brilliant Basics to enable these skills and is expanding its capabilities with a design center in Providence, RI in partnership with Rhode Island School of Design and studios across the globe: Seattle, LA, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai          
  • Proximity +: localization strategy to enable closer work with client teams onshore and increase training to scale the workforce in scarce digital skills. Infosys has invested in two innovation hubs (Indiana and Raleigh), education & training centers and digital studios to not only cater to client requirements but also train the workforce
  • Agile +: Infosys has invested $100m in agile development technologies, including the creation of its DevOps platform. Infosys enables clients to undertake agile software deployment projects using the DevOps platform, open source software, reusable digital templates, and its large library of APIs
  • Automation +: Infosys is helping clients navigate their AI and RPA journey through its in-house platforms – NIA and AssistEdge, in addition to partnerships and competencies across the best in class industry platforms/solutions  
  • Learning +: training to create and maintain the digital services skills required to deliver large-scale digital projects (which are in short supply in the marketplace). Infosys is advancing its localization initiative, announcing a new technology and innovation center in Arizona which should house 1k employees by 2023. Offerings delivered from these centers include:
    • Training of college students in partnership with schools to develop relevant skills leading to digital services jobs at Infosys or elsewhere
    • Retraining of Infosys employees with relevant skills for new types of Infosys engagements.   

Infosys has applied these principles in North America with its BFS clients who, over the past year, have reduced spending on compliance and redirected funds to digital enablement initiatives. Over the next twelve months, the banks intend to take monies from tax savings under the new tax law to drive forward more digital initiatives.

Infosys emphasizes that success in digital enablement requires prior experience working with industry legacy platforms. In the mortgage industry, 97% of loan servicing platforms are from a single vendor, which limits the level of value creation possible. But in origination, due in part to the wide variety of platforms in use, large efficiency gains are possible. In one recent engagement, Infosys enabled a legacy platform to automate most of the data management and the client was able to reduce headcount by 58%.

During the past year in North America, Infosys has added two new retail banking engagements (one a new logo and the other an existing client), both large contracts for mortgage lending services. The contracts rely on Infosys’ state mortgage licenses (currently 44 states) which allow their employees to support the client in regulated processes. Ramp-up has been rapid with over 55 FTEs added in the last twelve months.

There are, of course, challenges: I talked with one client who has been working with Infosys on several RPA POCs, where there was a challenge in integrating bots into the legacy platform to deliver targeted benefits. Successful RPA solution selection requires the client/vendor to balance tradeoffs between:

  • Cost: industry standard RPA solutions (e.g. Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, UIPath) cost significantly more than services vendors’ RPA solutions (e.g. AssistEdge) 
  • Functionality: industry standard RPA solutions have more robust functionality and product development roadmaps than RPA solutions from services vendors
  • Legacy platform: integrating bots into a legacy platform is challenging if the underlying software is incompatible. Therefore, banks with successful RPA programs have decided to standardize on one RPA vendor.    

Once the solution has been selected, successful implementation requires:

  • Setting up a test environment: identifying the apps in the core platform which will need to work with the RPA solution. Set up a test environment which matches the production environment the final solutions will operate in
  • Specific to mortgage operations: as mortgage operations is a document-intensive environment, successful RPA solutions require high capacity data extraction tools with AI functionality to manage both physical and electronic documents.

All the Infosys clients I have spoken with remain confident in working through startup RPA programs, or are glad they stayed the course where they have successful RPA programs. 

I will be researching RPA and AI services in BFS for my next market assessment this fall, delving deeper into adoption challenges and the opportunities these technologies provide to banks. 

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