Two years into Dodd-Frank implementation, how is compliance going from an information technology perspective? Banks still have plenty of IT challenges to work through, agree consultants in a collection of mini-essays presented by Bank Systems & Technology. Curiously the lone voice of optimism the mix comes from a bank CEO.

"Regulating agencies generally allow tiered implementation for community banks, so we get the benefit of watching and learning from the larger banks," says Geoff Greenwade of Green Bank in Houston. The main challenge he sees is in vendor management. But he manages to make shopping for new technology sound fun: "It's a big market, and software is expensive — but competition means we get to choose good products that work across different platforms and business models."

"Most banks support multiple applications and systems, and the quality of the data can vary from one to the next," says Mitchell Glassman of Deloitte Consulting in a more somber assessment. Basically banks need to get a handle on all the different systems and applications and understand the service agreements he explains. "One area where banks should look for help complying with increasing regulations is dynamic data stores, which pull the critical information together and index it by various measures," he suggests.

Getting more specific about which parts of Dodd-Frank are posing challenges, Jim Hamilton of Wolters Kluwer Law & Business says that "the regulations implementing the Volcker Rule… are almost certain to have a significant impact on the IT operations of many banks."

On a more heavy, big-picture note: "financial firms are finding that aggregation and normalization of the data are crucial, but a preceding step exists — the definition of data itself, or the taxonomy of the required information according to what the regulators want," writes Martin Sreba of Advent Global Accounts. "This in itself is a very subjective task."

And if that last suggestions sounds overwhelming, don't be too daunted. "The best thing we can do is continue to communicate with each other, share best practices and help each other hone our responses to meet the demands and new requirements," says Greenwade.

For the full piece see "Dodd-Frank, Two Years Later: What Has It Meant for Bank IT?" (may require subscription).