Financial services firms are typically some of the largest (based on employee count) organizations in the world. These large employee bases create a number of challenges for IT because the needs of each individual line of business in a financial services organization vary so wildly from the others. This variation results in a large number of custom applications being developed to satisfy unique needs. On top of that, M&A activity driving consolidation results in the merging of many custom application portfolios that didn’t stem from the same patterns and practices, let alone any sort of common application code.
Currently, custom application development is customized, meaning a common architecture among the applications does not exist. With the number of custom application portfolios on the rise, custom application development is becoming extremely unmanageable since each application is an exception to the rule; managing applications is not uniform and the fact that each of these applications are so different from another means that little to no economies of scale can be achieved. With this rise in custom applications there is also the problem that these new applications have even more complex architecture requirements than their predecessors, further exacerbating time to market and manageability problems.