Technology Focused Case Studies

DB+

BIG DATA ENGINEERING

The Brief

The IB Big Data team provides a unified data lake and analytics solutions serving multiple divisions. Global clients of the bank utilise multiple services to run their businesses (e.g. FX, ETFs and other services).

The client’s requirement was to use effective and standardised big data technologies and machine learning to aggregate and gain insights from the data in various business channels used by the client, to provide better service to clients and to exploit further areas of mutual revenue generation.

The Challenge

  • The client is a regulated business that operates across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Many projects have not followed standard data architecture patterns or standard software engineering principles.
  • The bank urgently required hands-on Engineering Leadership to establish and drive how to leverage big data technologies effectively, consistently and efficiently in order to accelerate solution development, reduce vendor lock-in and reduce costs.

 

The Approach

  • Established a design authority to define & govern all the architecture patterns being used for upcoming projects, and migrating disparate practices and architectures to the standards.
  • Built solutions on open source tools as replacements for vendor solutions.
  • Acceleration of adoption of containerisation technologies like Kubernetes and Docker to build services that are not locked/tied into one another.
  • The leadership of an initiative to open source the bank’s projects including engagement with Apache Software Foundation and open source projects.

The Outcome

  • Reduced production issues leading to reduction in production support costs.
  • Open source cost benefits and clearer focus on business value generation rather than spending time on aligning business goals with vendor product roadmaps.
  • Accelerated solutions development and preparation for cloud migration.
  • Brand visibility as a technology focused bank, creating crowdsourced contribution opportunities and attracting talent.
  • Vendor savings of $5m and efficiency gains of 20-30%.

Do you want to discuss how you can get more from Big Data? Contact either our Amsterdam or London office to learn more.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

The Brief: Low Code

A Tier 1 Global IB is building a suite of best-in-class digital platforms for managing Regulatory processes based on the Appian platform.

To build a new strategic platform (Reg Mapping) that allows the linkage and mapping of Regulations to both policies and to the bank’s library of Risks and Controls.

To ensure that cost-effective expertise is used to design and implement this end to end strategic solution.

The Challenge

  • To rapidly design & implement a new application that will support Regulatory ‘task management’ functionality so that the business areas (Countries / Businesses / Entities) that are responsible for implementing the regulatory changes and controls are provided with the appropriate interpretation for their area.
  • A complex solution that impacts and integrates with multiple areas of the bank.
  • As the solution crosses organisational boundaries, the application is high profile and subject to significant scrutiny across the organisation.

 

The Approach

  • Assignment of a Level 3 experienced Appian consultant  Architect and Designer to lead the delivery; engage with stakeholders effectively and ensure that the complex integrations work effectively to provide an end to end solution.
  • Provision of both deep Appian expertise and experience of delivery in a wider technical and business context.

The Outcome

  • Effective design and delivery of a defined set of application components
  • Effective direction and architectural oversight of deliverables by other areas
  • Support for the transition of the application from the onshore project team to the client’s Appian Support Centre of Excellence in India
  • Strategic and stakeholder dependency management & communication

Do you want to discuss how you can get more from Low Code Automation? Contact either our Amsterdam or London office to learn more.

PROCESS OPTIMISATION

The Brief: Automated Accounting

A Tier-1 Global bank wanted to automate a core accounting process which required data collection from many hundreds of individuals across the globe

This data had to be reviewed and turned into accounting entries for posting once approved

Impacted businesses wanted to see the impact on P&L to enable tighter decision-making loops

The Challenge

  • Existing entirely manual process involved the population of spreadsheet templates which were then manually reviewed
  • These reviews typically failed due to poor data quality requiring multiple loops to get the calculation inputs
  • The accounting journals were calculated from the individual spreadsheets and posted meaning the P&L impact was only visible after a full month-end run
  • Review and challenge after the close period resulting in considerable management attention

 

The Approach

  • Implementation of a cloud-based Appian workflow to capture the required attributes with built-in data quality checks and validation
  • Validation and lookups (such as system reference codes) enforced at entry point removing the need for repeated data checks later in the process
  • Implementation of a materiality threshold for manual review and approval of the data, ratcheting up the threshold as confidence grew
  • Automated generation of the posting journals and central collation in a visualised portal to assess total P&L impact prior to posting

The Outcome

  • 12 week total project time from initiation to go-live successfully rolling out to global user base.
  • Elimination of the dedicated process team reducing operational costs by $1m per annum and remaining tasks absorbed into other roles.
  • Move to random sampling and large item review positively received by auditors.
  • Positive relationship boost with business as review and challenge process moved to pro-active rather than re-active and gave time for course corrections.

Do you want to discuss how you can get more from Low Code Automation? Contact either our Amsterdam or London office to learn more.

MONTH END CLOSE

The Brief: Global Month End Close

A Tier-1 Global bank needed to make a material step-change in managing the monthly production of the books and records

Ever-increasing reporting requirements and dependencies on non-financial production of numbers across multiple business lines and countries was rapidly becoming unsustainable

Unable to provide senior stakeholders with regular and timely progress/issue/risk reports tailored to their responsibilities

 

The Challenge

  • The month-end close process had become significantly more complex over time with inputs being required on risk valuations, forecasts and non-financial information over and above pure ledger-based outputs.
  • Month-end outputs and process would vary depending on quarter-end and year-end cycles
  • Entirely manual process to track the progress of outputs with a hierarchy of stand-ups to both capture information and relay to senior stakeholders.
  • Delays in the process required extensive manual effort to understand the critical path impact and the compensating actions required

The Approach

  • Implementation of a cloud-based Appian workflow to drive the month-end activities and track the issue and risk life-cycles
  • User experience led development to ensure minimal user friction with the system and prioritise a positive user experience
  • Implementation of a change control process to provide agility and allow business variations
  • Dashboards provided to meet the different stakeholders needs with real-time reporting with filters by business, country and region
  • Control steps actively called out and attested to address S-OX

The Outcome

  • Initial build with a 12-week timeframe including build-out of global run-book
  • The system replaced manual processes as the primary mechanism for tracking on-going process and for reviewing issues and risks
  • Enabled standardisation of core process globally with local variations justified individually
  • Operational risk reduction through both process tracking and ability to fact-based manage issues on the critical path
  • The outputs and understanding the outputs became the focus rather than the process itself

Do you want to discuss how you can get more from Low Code Automation? Contact either our Amsterdam or London office to learn more.