On the Money

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

This global financial services provider uses virtualization, a service-oriented architecture and a zero-footprint IT model to react quickly to changing conditions.

On the Money

Remote-access technologies, virtualization and network-acceleration tools may serve as the foundation for a zero-footprint business model, but State Street also emphasizes the development of talent and teams able to flourish in today’s tough environment. When the company needed to ramp up its derivatives service, for example, it had a rapid-deployment team conduct an analysis and develop a targeted solution that would maximize results.

The challenge? To manage trading efficiently regardless of the transaction volume. In the past, “as demands increased, middle-office and back-office operations tended not to scale as efficiently as needed,” Perretta recalls.

The solution? State Street developed and deployed SOA components to build a new derivatives hub. Initially, IT staff spent time with back-office employees in order to better understand their business needs and client demands. This approach allowed them to map transactional processes from start to finish.

The end product, OTC Hub, manages the life cycle of derivative products and can be adapted quickly and seamlessly based on a customer’s needs. State Street can tweak the product to match different technical requirements and provide specific data visibility so traders can instantly view their financial exposure and specific risks.

With its zero-footprint foundation in place, State Street can deploy complex products and offerings in six months or less. Perretta says the company’s process-driven approach has resulted in 60 percent faster deployments and has helped the company adapt technology and tools to fit a variety of situations and requirements. Many tools, including messaging and accounting systems, are now adaptable to different platforms and teams. The firm’s project governance strategy focuses on the reuse of assets and building accountability among teams and business units.

What’s more, teams work together to develop internal standards and a modular framework. System architects within different groups and units collaborate to identify reusable spaces, tools and ways to prototype systems so that the firm can move to market faster.

The goal, Perretta says, is to “completely mesh business and IT in order to build an environment that is completely scalable.” When an initiative arises, developers and IT staff know which tools exist and what software and technology stacks they have at their disposal. “They have a library of assets available and a road map for deploying systems quickly and efficiently,” he adds.

State Street continues to push the boundaries on rapid deployment. It is prototyping a more advanced portal and is developing Web 2.0 tools. While innovation remains at the center of the company’s strategic focus, a mindset focused on developing reusable components, systems and processes—and using thin clients and virtualization to enable rapid deployment—flourishes.

“Everything revolves around speed and business value,” Perretta concludes. “It’s ingrained in our mindset and our culture.”

This article was originally published on 2009-01-08
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
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