The crisis that hit the marketing environment of building societies provides consumers with undifferentiated products in the market. For instance, house prices falling, house repossessions rising, and stiff competition in the financial services sector (Cleary 2007). These factors have made customer retention a significantly crucial factor within the sector, with strategies required to offer competitive advantage through the development of a customer base. It is essential to transform the building society by investing into a system that will improve customer satisfaction. This will assist in delivering a more streamlined and cost-effective organization.
To be successful under tough economic conditions that prevail, the IT manager should cut the budget by 7% over 12 months, followed by an additional 6 % over the following 12; therefore, it will be possible for the IT department to make savings through various management strategies. These include outsourcing the management of its networks to a reliable company to take over all voice and data networks infrastructure after the stipulated time. The building society should contract consultants from Webbit and Connem IT for the project and reduce the number of its server’s lower costs. In addition to other strategies of cutting operational costs, the company should replace hardware, and make improvements in service continuity, and simplification of disaster recovery as well as increased hardware utilization (Cleary 2007). The IT manager should work towards solving complex issues related to planning of the virtualization, so that the business should deliver benefits.
The new version of Oracle has taken a significant presence in banking and in building societies (Cleary 2007). The new version of Oracle offers a powerful combination of technology, as well as, a comprehensive, pre-integrated business application that has a key functionality created specifically for banking institutions. The new version of Oracle is highly efficient. For instance, Oracle 8i version operates java in the database with new features on partitioning in support of large databases. Oracle will enable to grow the institution, manage risks, and optimize the shareholder value. This is because Oracle delivers a comprehensive and integrated suite of financial services analytical applications used for Enterprise Performance Management. Oracle has introduced an efficient standard for management excellence through integrating performance into a single framework with risk applications. The new version of Oracle has a complete solution for performance management. Oracle Financial Services Profitability Management can enable the building society to calculate profitability information by products as well as individual customer relations on a risk-adjusted basis. The Oracle Financial Services Funds Transfer Pricing can help building societies to determine their savings, and the spread and earned on assets and liabilities, and the spread earned on interest rate for all customers, used to centralize the interest rate risk (Wurtzburg and Mills 2008).
The building society should use a central control provided by Cencon System 2000. The monitoring ability of this system enables it to authorize access to various ATM cash points. It should dispatch and provide administration to the ATM cash points via a network of terminals through the latest Cencon 2 software or the new version of Oracle. IT department should be responsible for the installation and running costs of the ATM cash points. This will enable customers to access and operate their accounts throughout these branches. The IT department should transform its services to online because the top gun-individual savings accounts are operated by customers via the web always have higher interest rates. In addition, they have lower operating costs and all customers’ transactions are conducted through the Internet. Thus, the society will be able to make savings through a reduction of the overhead costs, and eventually the customers will be attracted by the high interest rates; therefore, they will invest their savings via the web (Dawes and Worthington 2006).
The IT department can also benefit from the new features of the XP version called the ‘Fast User Switching’. This will enable the IT support staff to log onto any client’s workstation and enable them make administrative changes without logging the off. In addition, savings can also be achieved by use of the remote assistance features of the XP, by the reduction of the support costs and allow the IT staff to interact with the customers over the Internet. The built in ZIP compression support can enable the company make savings through licensing fees in case of using customers WinZip. The company relies on Office 2000; however, this should be upgraded to Office 2007 that has displayed a clean break in platform design. It has the capability to shed the super natured binary file formats and enhance a new shift for usability. Office 2007 has many advantages because it comes in eight distinctive flavors. Thus, the use of Office 2007 will provide applications that are supported technologies as well as upgraded paths, and pricing to ensure that the IT department will not budget for non-essential components, hence, making savings (Wurtzburg and Mills 2008).