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44 the time to make certain that the vendor partner that you're going to work with understands exactly what those business requirements are." To provide the most benefit, the technology needs to be in a functional state as quickly as possible, Campbell said. "I want to be able to take something and quickly implement it in the line of business. We can refine it later." "We're building business cases and ROIs based on that defined scope and those require- ments," Vinci added. "As scope creep comes in, that business model breaks down." SELECTING THE RIGHT VENDOR, MANAGING THE COMPLEXITY e vendor's specialty must align with what you're trying to achieve or you're setting yourself up for failure, Lewis warned. "I think we could all attest to being in this industry for so long as sometimes we work with a piece of technology that was designed for a specific thing and we either convince ourselves or someone else convinces us, we can tweak and morph this to do this other thing and just make it happen that way," Morbraten said. "Pretty soon it becomes a [Frankenstein's monster]. Over the next decade, we're still asking, 'how did we get here?' So, it's critical to understand what the true offering of that solution is." "You can't have technologies that compete with each other," Campbell cautioned. "You need a single source of truth for your data. e wraparound systems have to be able to tie into that single source of truth." e single source of truth can be your propri- etary platform, your data, or your enterprise data warehouse, Campbell added. "Regardless, that single source of truth needs to be aligned with the wraparound technologies, and the wraparound technologies have to be aligned with your single source of truth." "Ultimately, these wraparound systems can become the de facto single source of truth for their function," Vinci added. "So, it's important to make sure that you're syncing it back into your true single source." Another problem is that technology is often not documented the way it should be, Vinci said. So, figuring out those interdependencies and doing that work upfront is critical. Changes may still need to be made, so any technology solution needs to be flexible, Vinci said. "Gone are the days when everything was hard-coded. We need technologies out there that are flexible and allow you to rapidly make any needed changes." Vinci recommended addressing the need for a single source of truth with your architecture team and your data team. "ey know what the interdependencies are." Managing complexity is another area where it's essential to have a vendor that is aligned with your strategy, Vinci noted. "If you're looking for small iterative development projects, make sure your vendors align with that—not all vendors [do]." THE BENEFITS OF A STRONG TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATION "Most of what business is trying to automate is decades of 'muscle memory'—things that peo- ple have been doing at their desk for a very long time." Lewis said. "It's difficult to get to the finite details of truly what you do in your role and how to automate that." Lewis advised the audience to focus on the organization's key objectives. e "muscle memory" can be uncovered during the automation process. To align the different technology stake- holders, Campbell recommended making sure everyone understands the end objective of the technology project. Clean architecture is important, Vinci added. "Technologists love shiny objects. We love new things. We love trying to essentially overbuild. It's important to realize what the goal of the project is." While it's tempting to add new capabilities as they become available, doing so has to be balanced with the need to get the technology up and running, Vinci said. Adding too many bells and whistles will slow down the implementation and benefits the organization will receive from the technology. "Isolation and separation of applications is critical," Vinci added. "e integration tool needs to be isolated, not embedded, and configurable." "You have to look at the entire solution when you're integrating with your vendor partners." Campbell added. "You want to make certain that you have a cost-effective solution for exchanging data. We want to make certain that we're coming up with the best solution to utilize the data that we have available and that we're updating the data from that third-party vendor's platform back "You can't have technologies that compete with each other. You need a single source of truth for your data. The wraparound systems have to be able to tie into that single source of truth." —James Campbell, EVP and Head of Servicing, Flagstar Feature By Phil Britt

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