Published: 31 December 1997
Analyst(s): Bradford Adrian
Management Summary This study is a part of the Strategies for Managing Resources and Technology (SMART) Program, a syndicated series of research studies addressing the issues and opportunities in the financial services industry. SMART Program research studies are based on a combination of primary and secondary research. As banks and financial institutions work to establish and maintain competitive advantages in today's marketplace, a single, high-level initiative aimed at doing so is emerging: to leverage, to the greatest extent possible, all of the information and information processing assets available. The use of customer information files, demographic databases, and decision support data needs to be optimized in order to provide products and services that customers value. In addition, this needs to be accomplished within the popular information system paradigm of distributed computing. In the end, what banks and financial institutions really require to successfully leverage these assets is one thing: connectivity. Middleware is the tool that can provide that connectivity. The primary purpose of this study is to provide answers to the following questions: o What IS middleware? How is the term "middleware" defined? o How large is the market for middleware? What level of growth in market size is expected? o What are the various types of middleware? What services do they provide? o Specifically how can middleware provide benefits for banks and financial institutions? o What are the major issues and challenges affecting the application of middleware to banks and financial institutions? o What considerations need to be taken into account when planning a middleware implementation project? o What companies are the primary middleware vendors? There are middleware vendors and products that specialize in meeting the somewhat unique needs of banks and financial institutions. In order to provide as thorough an understanding of contemporary...
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