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The development and adoption of innovative technology to better deploy software could save the financial industry an estimated US$1.5 billion annually, according to a report from Stanford, Conn.-based Greenwich Associates published on Thursday.

The report, Driving Innovation Through Software Deployment, describes the process of rolling out new software within large financial institutions as having hardly changed for the past 20 years. It is slow, inefficient, and costly compared with the approach used in other sectors.

One of the most overlooked innovations in recent years is the ability to continually update software to mobile operating systems, such as Android and iOS, according to the report. Yet, in the financial world, “the standard processes for software deployment and consumption remain slow and cumbersome,” Greenwich says in a news release.

“These increasingly outdated practices impose significant costs, including the explicit cost of testing, packaging and deployment; the cost of additional complexity caused by maintaining multiple versions of the software; time-to-market cost for vendors; and the cost of slow innovation for end users,” Greenwich adds. Inefficient software deployment also leaves software more vulnerable to hacking, it notes.

“The widespread adoption of improved software deployment processes could deliver significant cost and efficiency gains and spur an explosion of institutional fintech innovation that is clearly bubbling below the surface and waiting to emerge,” says Kevin McPartland, head of market structure and technology research at Greenwich, in a statement.