Fintech world transformed, innovation becomes hard core business issue

Portfolio
The world has changed. Development technologies, platforms, big tech companies and fintech challengers have transformed the operation of financial IT companies. Innovation on the fintech market is no longer a technological issue. Knowledge of the business know-how is an indispensable part of product development just as the application of the latest technologies. Recruiting, retaining and managing talents for fintech companies is another demanding task. Portfolio talked about such issues with Gyula Csorba, Deputy CEO and Chief Strategy Officer of Dorsum.
csorba gyula dorsum

Leading IT specialists

When asked how is it different to lead IT professionals than to manage employees with any other skill, Csorba replied that IT specialists are highly creative with a thirst for constant learning and a drive to make something big at the firm that could be a hit in Europe or even globally.

If you’re a manager at such a company, you must be up to date in the applied technology, as you can give people real opportunities by development methodologies and technologies. And you also need to create an inspiring working environment which is a huge challenge, he added.

What is innovation for Dorsum?

While innovation is often rooted in IT with a focus on technology in most industries, Csorba said this era has ended in the early 2010’s.

The world has changed. Development technologies, platforms, bigtech and fintech giants have completely altered the scene.

Dorsum also has technology-driven innovation processes, but as the large tech enterprises it also aims “to provide new solutions to the problems of the market and the business.”

The company also explores how its customers – banks, asset managers, brokerages – can offer ever better user experience via digitalisation and increase customer satisfaction.

“At Dorsum, innovation starts with eyes on the business and turns into a solution applying modern technology.”

Csorba said Dorsum’s two innovation teams are headed by senior bankers and they are the ones that decide what novelties need to be presented in the security back office, treasury, private banking on premium banking segments. This is how the company achieved its successes (e.g. awards at Finovate Europe). This year’s key focus is digital services for the customers, he said.

If we complement innovation with a new technology, it needs to be filled with content, as well.

Overall, Dorsum adds business know-how to its developments and combines this with a European-level user experience, while applying top-of-the line technology.  

New technologies to improve efficiency

Asked about the technologies Dorsum introduced to improve work efficiency, Csorba replied that five years ago he had realised the daily processes of the company’s developments had to be standardised. Adapting to industry methodology, the company came up with a fully automated development and version release process that allowed the execution of automated tests.

One of the key trends nowadays in terms of development strategies is the so-called containerization, which means that containerized update packages can be “loaded” right into banks, just like they would do with container vessels. While this is a huge challenge when it comes to the systems of a large bank, this technology will be exceptionally important in the following years, hence Dorsum has been focusing on it more and more.

Csorba stressed the importance of monitoring the profitability of their projects. Given that Dorsum has 250 employees already, a controlling system (self-developed) is being implemented to make sure the use of resources is always optimal.

“By applying the solutions of fintech companies we try to integrate the most up-to-date standard software development tools into our operation as quickly as possible. “

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Gyula Csorba (left) and Balázs Vinnai (right) at the IVSZ award ceremony.

Recruiting and retaining the right staff

Asked about the difficulties at recruiting qualified labour while offering acceptable and affordable salaries, Csorba replied that their payroll had doubled between 2015 and 2020, which means that the company had found the tools to carry out this expansion even amidst a cut-throat competition for IT professionals.

He said the company pioneered in recognising the outstanding importance of internship programmes, and managed to recruit top talents as soon as they got their university degree. This approach resulted in the integration of ten new software engineers and ten new economists every year.

The programme uses a serious selection system. The candidates are tested in respect of their problem-solving capacity and factual knowledge, as well. Dorsum has an eight-week internal training, offering practical knowledge and teaching the use of its own technologies and systems. Building on the internship programme the company also launched a management talent programme five years ago, and the most talented interns now work at Dorsum as middle management.

Another pillar of the company’s HR strategy was to attract senior experts to key competencies, where being a team player was a key selection aspect, and it was also considered whether the candidate would bring extra knowledge to the team.

The Miskolc office started off with five people in 2015 and has tripled in size since then. Dorsum offers a multi-year carrier package and there’s a loyalty scheme in place for specifically talented employees.

By now it has become clear that there is no other way: if you want to build up an international company, the wages you pay must match the level required in the sector.

Plans and future projects

Asked about future plans and developments in the pipeline Csorba said Hungary’s financial sector passed the test of the coronavirus pandemic with great grades, and Dorsum’s clientele responded fast and well to the digital transformation.

Financial institutions recognised that providing touch-free and remote services was of strategic importance.

Dorsum, he said, assigns a great importance to the transformation and digitalisation of private and premium banking, believing that customers will always need new platforms and technologies.

The company will continue its global expansion, with massive projects in Western Europe going live next year. Dorsum came out this year with a Software-as-a-Service product and a mobile and web application facilitating the monitoring of investment portfolios. It can now provide business workflows and operation remotely and more products will follow this path in 2021, he concluded.

The publication of this article was sponsored by Dorsum.

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