Bottom Line Results

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

The financial services industry is undergoing some of the most significant changes in its history, and information technology increasingly determines who soars and who stumbles.

Bottom Line Results

Today’s rapidly evolving business environment means that organizations must draw a straight line between the data center and the customer, according to Ernst & Young’s Nichols.

“Every decision must come back to a basic question: How do we drive improvements to customers and provide the best service possible while protecting their data?” he says. “Organizations that fall behind the curve and lack the necessary protections risk seeing their business grind to a “screeching halt.”

At Danske Bank, a customer-centric focus has changed the organization. A couple of years ago, the second largest bank in Scandinavia realized that it had to increase its focus on delivering the right solutions to its customers. That meant building an IT framework and adopting a focus based on context.

The Copenhagen, Denmark-based company required a high degree of collaboration between people in various roles within the bank so that it could complete customer projects faster and better. “We had to become more efficient at what we do,” explains Peter Rasmussen, senior vice president of technology.

When the bank undertook a detailed assessment of its IT practices, “We realized that our time to market was too slow,” Rasmussen notes. In some cases, the IT organization required 14 months—and sometimes more—to bring a new system up to speed. Mergers and other major events wreaked havoc.

To remedy this situation, the bank adopted a more agile framework for IT development. Using IBM Rational Tools, it has amped up its integration test planning by unifying new and legacy systems on an integrated development platform.

The Rational Tools system has helped the bank get a handle on business planning, project management and IT-integration tasks. Teams working with customers now have a deeper and broader perspective into how projects are progressing, what stage different individuals and teams are at with processes, and how to incorporate feedback into the development process.

As a result, the time required to complete customer projects is down to an average of nine months, while productivity has spiked by upward of 10 percent. “We have achieved greater agility, and our teams are more motivated,” Rasmussen says.

This article was originally published on 2011-12-06
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
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