The Silicon Review
“Our research activities allow us to work with new technologies and products in new ways laying the foundation for future digitization.”
As an IT consultancy, adorsys offers a wide range of innovative software solutions and IT services. With many years of experience in the financial industry, the company’s digital payment services and solutions are designed to help banks, insurances and third-party providers to improve customer experience and maximize new growth areas.
Interview Excerpt: Andrew J. Zeller, CEO of adorsys
Q. Could you describe your typical management style and the type of employee that works well with you?
I would describe my management style as agile, transparent, participative and team-oriented. I am internationally oriented and have a strong focus on innovation. Sustainability for customers, employees, shareholders and society in general, is important to me.
I appreciate and empower employees. That said, I work best with team players who are always willing to accept or offer help. If you want to grow and improve your technical and advising skills, if you are curious and adaptive to change, an IT expert with a “professional services interface” and strong digital and social competency, we will work well together.
Q. What is your company’s policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so the employees can keep up on their skills or acquire new skills?
As a company, we want to provide our best professional education and skill development opportunities to our employees. There are many ways we do this. For example, we allow employees to spend three percent of their annual salary on training and education.
We have formed communities of practice to enable and foster knowledge sharing. This is a great opportunity to learn from others, and a platform for discussing technology and core elements or challenges of our daily work in customer projects.
We also have an initiative called adorsys Barcamp, which consists of informal education sessions on important current topics. These open, participatory workshop-style events allow and foster input from everyone.
We also created a community-of practice for research where we drive a lot of our customer innovation together with students from many different universities. Most of our research projects are far ahead of current market trends. Our research activities allow us to work with new technologies and products in new ways laying the foundation for the digitization of future projects. This proves extremely successful as our student-driven projects have won multiple awards and continue to benefit our customers.
adorsys is one of the leading contact points for digital payments and component solutions in the industry. This sounds promising. How have you managed to lead from the front?
We place a lot of value on relationships. Through our multiple memberships and active participation in the most important open banking committees in the DACH region, such as the Berlin Group, NISP, SFTI, Open Banking Project CH, OpenID and SKSF, we are not only proactively listening and shaping the financial market, we are also deriving actual results to keep our customers at the vanguard of developments.
Within our technology trend scouting, our teams will analyze market trends early on. We also collaborate with partners and customers to combine competencies and generate synergies. Should a specific trend look promising, we will test it thoroughly before adding it to our portfolio. We have already helped almost 100 banks in Europe become PSD2-compliant, and our current focus areas for adorsys Solutions are digital payment services and security components.
From your perspective, how is the industry you serve evolving.
We are seeing IT landscapes getting more and more API and cloud-based using flexible business and AI modules. Agile methods must manage business both business and IT solutions, for example domain-driven design. IT workforce and components have to be sourced worldwide to secure the best resources and pricings.
What are your focus areas?
One focus area is the transformation of business models and products with digitization. We plan for complete end-to-end lifecycle support, from business and user experience design, up to secure operations. Additionally, we facilitate modernization and revitalization of existing IT landscapes.
What is the roadmap of your company in terms of technological expansion?
Following the path of open finance, API management and IT security, we aim to stay current with the most productive frontend, backend, DevOps and data management technologies, while integrating AI and security solutions. We see further growth in a more international target operating model.
Can you provide us with one or two case studies describing the challenges your clients were facing and how did your solutions help them overcome those challenges?
Like many companies in the industry, a large client of ours operates a central IT platform that drives all critical customer processes, from onboarding to allocation of liquidity. Product development and process automation had to be delivered more quickly, which posed new challenges to their IT and internal organization. To meet market dynamics, it was decided to modernize the monolithic platform and transfer it to a modular and agile-in-the-large capable architecture. We applied our expertise in API and microservice-based development with Java Enterprise, Angular, Spring Boot and OpenShift container platforms. We supported our client across their perennial platform modernization and transformation by building a modular IT architecture with secure API interfaces and an API management gateway.
To give you another example, one of the largest cooperatives and IT service providers in the B2B environment approached us to transform some of its finance business cases into the B2C market. With our many years of experience in digitalizing the insurance and banking sector, the chemistry between our two IT teams was great from the start.
We implemented a complete solution, starting from the vision to the finished product.
Using design thinking methods, potential solutions were first identified, using market and business analysis as well as focus group surveys. This led to a set of requirements. During the conception phase, the prototypes were again validated by customer journey mapping and target group surveys. In addition to functionality, reliability, efficiency and maintainability, IT security and customer data protection were vital. The result was the launch of a B2C application that manages automated and expert-assisted tax declarations, increasing the market share of our customer.
About the future, where do you see your company in a couple of years?
First of all, we will grow our professional services division by expanding our workforce in the DACH-region and internationally.
To elastically scale, we will use international smartshoring and remote-too working models to take advantage of the best IT locations, hubs and experts locally.
And a major pillar will be the development of a suite of ready-to-use IT solutions to support our customers worldwide.
The Leader Upclose and Personal
Andrew J. Zeller serves as the Chief Executive Officer of adorsys. He has worked at the crossroads of banking, business automation and technology management for more than 20 years.
At adorsys, he is accountable for the overall organizational performance and the profitable path into the technology future. Operationally he focuses on four topics:
CxO advisory: IT Strategy, IT Governance and Risk, IT Portfolio Organization and Effectiveness;
IT Operating Models: Organization and Operating Model Design, Digital Impact of IT, IT Performance Management, and Cost Optimization;
Digital Transformation: Identification of data-driven Business Models, Migration to Cloud Platforms, IT Carve-Outs, Transformation Planning, and Project Delivery;
Enterprise Architecture: Architecture Development, Architecture Maturity Analysis, Architecture Methods, and Tools.