Consolidating the IT landscape was like straightening out a giant ball of string

Jean Gehring, Principal Architect, fi Architects Group

The challenge facing today’s enterprise architects, who work in banking, is managing the complexity across the IT landscape while driving an optimal channel mix to maximize revenue without reducing customer expectations. If customers cannot use the channel they prefer for a banking transaction, both satisfaction and engagement levels drop, and the domino effect begins.

In a recent bank consolidation, new locations and hundreds of new employees and customers were added to the existing banking infrastructure, causing it to become overly complicated. The problem was that the expansion was moving so quickly the bank didn’t have time to develop a cohesive view of the current IT landscape to plan for its future state. As a result, the lack of visibility impacted a new digital payments network rollout, causing delays and performance issues, increasing cost, and affecting customer satisfaction.

As Jean Gehring explains: “This problem got more serious as the digital services portfolio expanded. There was no way to see if cost-effective decisions were being made as capacity was added or if the bank was needlessly spending on systems they weren’t going to use.”

The bank needed a solution to gain visibility and unravel the IT landscape, manage strategy, and the business of IT. The must-have requirements included a scalable data repository with a flexible metamodel to capture just the level of detail needed, simple to use, and easy to implement. Smart360, a SaaS enterprise architecture management platform, was the solution selected to unravel the giant ball of string the infrastructure had become.

Whether the bank needs to add, expand, or replace services and delivery channels, the architects can view the impact, see if alternatives exist, and quickly assess the risk and cost. For a high-growth bank that needs to move swiftly to meet demand but still wants to monitor and control costs having smart360 is invaluable.

Jean Gehring, principal of fi Architects Group, is a recognized Enterprise Architect and Technology Transformation Leader in financial services. She serves on the IEEE-TEMS board and past President of the Federation for Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations.