As in many other industries, firms are modernizing their IT Architecture in order to make it easier to adapt faster to their client’s fast evolving needs, one could call this a quest to an Agile Architecture. Modernization is often achieved through a Cloud-first approach where modularity, re-use and fast time to market are achieved by leveraging concepts such as service-oriented architectures (SOA), domain-driven design (DDD), micro-services and APIs.
Adding a sharp partner vs build process to focus on differentiation and Enterprises can combine the use of modular and standardized platforms to deliver across multiple lines of business (LOBs).
This new form of IT Architecture is changing some of the selection criteria when choosing between vendor platforms. What used to be a very feature-comparison approach is evolving to place the platform openness at the center of the decision process. An open platform (not to be confused with open-source platform) is a platform that can be extended at wish through key patterns, open APIs being the primary one.
Open platforms align very well with the Cloud-first approach because they can deliver on specific functionality (e.g. Trading, Asset Servicing,) and offer advanced APIs to be integrated within multiple LOBs or customer journeys.
That brings up a question: what is an advanced API? There are many possible technical answers to this question. Those answers would all point out the API should be easy to understand, optimized for the key use cases and many other dimensions. In layman’s terms, one could say a good API should at least allow a developer to create the user experience (UX) by leveraging the platform’s native functionality. That means full-control.
At such, we can conclude that in Wealth Management like in many other industries, open platforms with strong APIs are key to achieving an Agile IT Architecture.