Building societies—Optimize operations and IT

Building societies must integrate IT systems into their DNA

Building societies usually find it difficult to introduce new IT solutions. Today, only fintech companies and specialized institutions already use the full range of possibilities that current technological innovations open up. Established institutions, on the other hand, are at best reactive and can thus learn a lot from the fintech companies.


Building societies, with their mostly historically grown IT organizations, are not in a position to adapt quickly enough to new challenges and meet the changes. For example, it is difficult for established institutions to react to changing customer behavior and the associated wishes. In view of low interest rates, customers currently prefer to take out loans with banks instead of drawing on home savings loans. While the institutions’ earnings are falling and cost pressure is rising, competition is also intensifying: new competitors are entering the real estate finance market with new technologies or innovative product concepts. On top of this, more and more established IT systems of building societies are reaching their limits terms of compliance with new regulatory requirements and are forcing them to act. 


Customers want more and more performance and service at a lower and lower price in ever shorter time—digitalization in particular has promoted this demand. Building societies must respond to customer wishes without losing control over costs. In order to overcome this balancing act, the institutions are forced to offer personalized standard solutions with tailor-made service. This requires IT that understands the customer, that is highly flexible, interactive and integrable. This requires a rethinking of IT departments and the creation of a new “IT DNA”. Because IT organizations must change: from in-house providers to scalable service conductors and an orchestrator who can constructively bring together the capabilities of a wide range of players and maximize value. This is a completely new way of thinking, because most historically grown IT systems are still at least partly based on the mainframe technology of the 80s. They are not scalable, are expensive to operate—and they require a level of expertise that fewer and fewer experts still have today.


zeb helps building societies modernize or replace their old IT systems. zeb uses an analysis and process model that has been tried and tested in many projects and offers the right approach for every customer situation—and also takes the latest cloud sourcing into account.

This enables zeb to offer its customers a broad range of tailor-made solutions. For example, building societies canchoose a more conservative lift-and-shift approach, where changes are limited to the infrastructure and production level—i.e. no changes in users, processes and specialist applications are required for the time being.

The other option is to completely convert to a new IT setup, which can be carried out in one step or in stages. In any case, “satellitization” is the ideal starting point: it involves using specialized standard software along the process chain and, above all, considering customer journeys.

zeb helps all clients along their path to IT optimization: after an analysis of the initial situation, goals are set, and strategic options developed. These are then prioritized and timetables and responsibilities for implementation agreed.