Home' Superfunds : Superfunds August 2017 Contents their IT provider is whether the fund’s technology platform can accommodate
Whether growth is organic or acquired, trustees must ascertain whether
their fund’s IT environment has the ability to add or remove capacity and
processing power as needed. Can the technology platform handle large
increases in transactional data volumes? Can it meet the growing data access
and storage demands, associated with leveraging big data and analytics,
in the pursuit of greater personalisation? As funds continue to encourage
members to self‐service various aspects of administration—such as change
of address, switching and transacting—can the technology platform handle
substantial increases in the simultaneous use of the system?
4. UPGRADABILITY: WHAT IS BEING DONE TO ENSURE THE IT
ENVIRONMENT REMAINS CURRENT IN A COST-EFFECTIVE WAY?
In a rapidly evolving super landscape, trustees must anticipate changes in the
market and ensure their fund’s technology meets the latest service standards
and consumer demands. Importantly, they must ensure the IT environment
can cope with ongoing legislative changes. They also need to know their
IT provider is actively planning for the ATO roadmap of ‘message based’
reporting and ongoing enhancements to SuperStream.
Trustees should ask their IT providers whether the technology solution
being employed is capable of regular updates to ensure currency of operating
platforms and software, without the need for large and expensive system
upgrades. Is the system being developed in a modular way that supports
simple, frequent and low cost system maintenance? Is the solution being
delivered in an agile way—such as via a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS)
model—which sees a specialist vendor regularly enhance the system
to ensure it keeps pace with the fund’s functionality requirements and
compliance obligations? Given SaaS providers typically service more than
one client, this approach enables trustees to benefit from and share the cost
of enhancements and efficiencies achieved across the vendor’s entire client
base. Whether managed in‐house, via a software vendor or a third-party
provider, trustees must ensure their fund’s technology solution can be easily
upgraded in support of business agility, speed to market, and compliance
5. INTEROPERABILITY: CAN THE IT ENVIRONMENT INTERACT
SEAMLESSLY WITH EXTERNAL SYSTEMS?
In recent years, the traditional closed and proprietary approach to software
development has been largely superseded by a more open and collaborative
approach that supports business innovation. To tap into the many benefits
of this, super trustees must ensure their IT provider employs a technology
solution that supports open, standards‐based application programming
interfaces (APIs) and service oriented architecture (SOA).
Broadly, this approach allows multiple pieces of software that may have
different operating languages to speak to each other, without having to
build specific links for every interaction. SOA allows business rules to be
stored centrally which means the cost of managing change is reduced. It
enables funds to quickly and easily add new offerings and modify existing
offerings, without having to start from scratch, and fosters cost effective
real‐time system connectivity between super funds and third party providers.
It further enables funds to open up their API development environment and
invite fintech developers to build new value‐added tools and functionality
that seamlessly integrate with their underlying registry solution. This open
approach to software development unlocks a wealth of expertise and
innovation that would not otherwise be available to super funds.
6. CUSTOMER CENTRICITY: DOES THE IT ENVIRONMENT PUT THE
CUSTOMER FRONT AND CENTRE?
The Australian super industry is shifting away from the traditional focus on
product and the servicing of employers, towards member centricity. In an era
where the customer is now king, the balance of power has shifted in favour
of consumers, making it crucial for super funds to adopt a customer centric
Trustees should ask their IT provider whether their fund’s technology
has been architected using human‐centred design, an approach to systems
Superfunds August 2017
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