Fueling A Digital Financial Services Ecosystem

Our ongoing series, The New Financial Services Roadmap, shows how the Mendix platform enables planning and execution, providing financial institutions (FIs) with more harmonized enterprise solutions at less effort and cost. Move from a tangle of single-point solutions to a true digital ecosystem.

We’ll walk you through the experience of a hypothetical enterprise. Part 1 set the scene, and Part 2 focused on taking your first project and building new pieces with reusable components. This final part will focus on common questions from financial institutions during the practical execution of this process.

So far, we’ve built out our first Mendix app from a template (Compliance Complaint Tracking) and we’ve taken some of those components to build out our next solution, a business client “VIP” escalation management application. By reusing components, we were able to save time and resources, and really set ourselves up for a fintech ecosystem of interconnected offerings.

Now you know that you can build out multiple solutions from one starting point. Great, but so what? There are all kinds of things that you can do in theory, but real life doesn’t always align with that theory.

Here, I’ll walk you through some critical areas and questions that have, can, and do come up when FIs just like yours are looking at Mendix. These can really speak to the heart of the industry and how Mendix is well-positioned to help.

How much time can FIs save by repurposing applications?

Mendix is an application development platform that differentiates itself with the ease of creating reusable components and modules. But how much time can a FI really save when repurposing applications?

To be clear, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this. Size and scale of your first build is the first big factor, with the second factor being how long it takes to define and document what your components are and what can be moved as-is (don’t worry! We’ll address that in just a minute).

That applies both to the digital experience, as well as back end administrative or processing systems. So, things like connectors to your APIs and microservices might port over directly, but a user interface may need a little massaging to make it fit for new purpose. In short, there are a ton of benefits of component useability that you can take advantage of.

In general, though, using an existing application to speed up development on another will typically reduce dev time by 50%. Now extrapolate that as your Mendix ecosystem spreads through the enterprise.

As an example, ABN AMRO built more than 200 end-user applications on the Mendix platform in just 24 months.

How can my team identify opportunities to innovate?

This one’s all about process.

Picture sitting in a room with developers from all over the world and being told to make a commercial banking portal. Here’s the trick: no one speaks the same language. So, even with similar backgrounds and skillsets, it’s tough to get started, right?

The key is common language.

Knowing what you’ve built with Mendix is just the first step, so the next piece is categorization. Every aspect of a Mendix application, from features and functions to connectors, can be categorized. Categorization can be as high level as “escalation,” or as technical and detailed as universally understood functional description, such as manager dual approval flow.

Imagine how much easier it is to search on a specific topic on work you’ve already done rather than have to look at a finished product or sift through umpteen lines of code.

Go back to our example above. By giving your team of experts a common language to work from, finding inspiration and identifying opportunities is a breeze.

What does Mendix recommend for repurposing an existing application?

Sometimes there can be a perception that, because low-code platforms work differently than standard development, an enterprise needs to totally change their way of thinking, and that’s really not the case.

Refer back to our last blog where we walked through a version of how design could ideally work.

  1. What functions do you want to provide? What is your desired outcome?
  2. What are the common elements that you could leverage? This could be functionality, connectors, and app services among other things.
  3. What’s missing? Or, in other words, what’s the work our team needs to do to get this new app going?

If it helps, here’s a worksheet to walk you through those next steps.

So it really comes down to what you want to do and what you need to do to get there. If those aren’t the questions you’re asking when considering any development project, you’re setting yourself and your teams up for failure, while also extending your timelines.

Really, the hardest part is just forcing yourself to have those conversations early and often.

The art of the possible

There you have it! Now you know how to take a Mendix build and make it more.

The platform is built for reusability; it’s not theoretical or magical.

The only thing your team has to commit to is committing to the process.

Not sure where to start? Check out the Mendix Marketplace or some of our solutions for inspiration. Let it spark you and consider what’s possible.

It could be expanded offerings, it could be banking as a service, offering more fintech solutions, or anything else that you’ve dreamed of exploring.

The only thing left is to get started.