A major US-based bank has chosen to outsource its software maintenance to The IQ Business Group in South Africa – in preference to the more usual outsource software destinations like India and Russia.
Steve Lauter, head of new business development at genetIQa, the IQ Group’s business unit that focuses on technology and software engineering, says all maintenance and support of the bank’s software is handled by a 20-strong team working out of genetIQa’s offices in Rivonia, Sandton.
“We have access to the source code of the applications used by the bank and – thanks to the Internet – it doesn’t matter that we are nearly 13 000 kilometres away from their main systems. We can repair, debug, support, enhance and upgrade their software at any time of the day or night,’ he says.
Lauter says this development is a result of the growing recognition among banks and other enterprises that are increasingly dependent on IT in their day-to-day and strategic operations, that cost-effective, timely and quality software maintenance is key to ensuring the effective performance of their IT systems.
“Any hour of downtime or misalignment for critical software applications can lead to dissatisfied customers, less productive employees, and the bank not realising potential revenues and profit,” he explains.
Yet maintaining enterprise-wide applications has become increasingly complex, tedious and costly for banks. Aging mainframe systems, the continued shift to Web-enabled systems, mergers and acquisitions, and global expansion are forcing them to spend more time, effort and money to keep their applications running at peak efficiency.
As a result, support and maintenance typically eats at efficiency of primary development teams and executive management, swinging focus away from new initiatives to maintenance of older ones.
At the same time the loss of key skilled resources capable of maintaining the software through resignation, emigration or, as is often the case with legacy applications, retirement and even death.
“Outsourcing support and maintenance to a third-party provider like genetIQa allows the bank’s mainline team to focus on strategic direction and development of new applications,” he says.