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With the world becoming increasingly digital and customer preferences radically changing, one global top-tier bank found itself handicapped by its complex technology landscape. 

In the 1990s, the bank held hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and operated thousands of branches in almost half the states in the U.S. Today, through organic and inorganic growth, the bank holds trillions of assets under management. Its operations span 50 states and more than 40 countries. But like its smaller peers, the bank faced an urgent need to streamline operations and meet ever-changing customer expectations with on-demand, anytime, anywhere service.

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This is the first blog in a series that will explain how one of the 10 largest banks in the world partnered with MuleSoft, built an application network, and delivered tangible business outcomes, including reduced costs and increased revenue. Read on for the details.

The need for a single view of the customer

Digital-first companies and emerging fintech startups have redefined banking services and raised the bar for industry incumbents. To compete with the speed and agility of fintech startups, traditional banks need to gain a single view of their customers. While they have the advantage of owning vast amounts of customer and transaction data, most customer information is stuck in organizational silos. Customers, as a result, feel the pain of these silos through disconnected experiences across all sales and marketing channels and lines of business.

This particular bank – with a history of over a hundred years structured by product-aligned lines of business – was heavily siloed. This resulted in significant challenges in creating a single view of its customers. Prior to the financial crisis, areas like retail banking and wealth management had little incentive to work together; each line of business had its own systems, data, processes, channels, and organizations. The technology landscape was immensely complex, consisting of federated IT teams separated by lines of business and geographies. Navigating the organization was cumbersome, and the bank’s IT team knew that its inability to move quickly would have dire business impacts.

IT delivery: the bank’s application network journey

In response to a CEO-led initiative to drive operational excellence and improve efficiency, the bank’s central IT function embarked on a strategy to transform the way it delivered and managed technology. Central IT’s program sought the adoption of common standards and technologies that would add business value for customers, improve efficiency, and enable technology innovation.

As part of this program, the bank also launched a massive architecture overhaul. The overhaul included simplifying application tiers, implementing a microservices architecture, and leveraging a company-wide integration platform to underpin the technology delivery transformation. MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform became the platform that enabled the bank to connect its applications, data, and devices.

While building an application network was not the bank’s goal from the start, the bank’s vision of creating reusable services exposed through a network of APIs led to the emergence of one. Over time, the application network grew to become the digital embodiment of many of the bank’s core capabilities and propelled the bank to become a leader of digital transformation. As a result, the bank was able to streamline operations, rationalize technologies, enhance customer experience, and drive revenue growth.

To get full insights on how the bank’s IT team drove these results, you can download our whitepaper, Top 10 global bank drives 5X faster IT project delivery with an application network. Stay tuned for my next post on how the bank standardized its data, processes, and channels with a strategic API-led architecture.