Magazine article American Banker

Comment: Web Banking Sites Need Reliability Built into Their Foundations

Magazine article American Banker

Comment: Web Banking Sites Need Reliability Built into Their Foundations

Article excerpt

Suppose you decided to sell your house. You would try to make it as attractive as possible to a potential buyer-maybe adding a coat of paint outside, then perhaps sprucing up the landscaping. All this in hopes of maximizing the property's "street appeal."

Should a prospective buyer, initially attracted by the outward attractiveness, suddenly discover that the foundation is cracked and unstable, you lose the sale.

Similarly, banking enterprises may have the most attractive services on the best-looking Web sites in the world. But it means nothing if the infrastructure can't support the many companies, organizations, and customers who wish to do business on-line.

Why is this even important? Consider that a financial institution Web site is not only a means to display and sell products and services but also an opportunity to build brand equity.

Every consumer in the world may know that your bank offers various online services. A lot of promotional dollars may have been spent making this fact known. Yet if your site is difficult to enter, or sends back error messages, you have lost an opportunity to build brand equity, to differentiate your bank through a positive Web experience.

Control over the infrastructure is therefore needed. It comes through four main elements: the server, the network, applications and content, and network management.

To achieve control of servers and to ensure that customers can gain proper access to your sites, it is imperative to deploy effective "high availability" and "load-balancing" appliances. High availability means reliability. Think of load balancing as air-traffic control. It redirects traffic among servers, balancing the load on each, so that no single server becomes bogged down.

Control of servers also means security. The proper Internet traffic management has built-in security features to protect against hackers and other threats. …

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