Interview with Banca Intesa: Unbiased Metrics For Objective Portfolio Rationalization
 

Interview with Banca Intesa: Unbiased Metrics For Objective Portfolio Rationalization

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Banca Caboto is a financial company focused on capital markets. A merger with Banca Intesa necessitated an objective review of the health and structure of existing applications and systems, including ...

Banca Caboto is a financial company focused on capital markets. A merger with Banca Intesa necessitated an objective review of the health and structure of existing applications and systems, including those managed by outsourcers. CAST empowered this critical assessment and is now used for regular reviews to measure and control application quality.

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Interview with Banca Intesa: Unbiased Metrics For Objective Portfolio Rationalization Interview with Banca Intesa: Unbiased Metrics For Objective Portfolio Rationalization Presentation Transcript

  • Context I Dott. Bettini, could you first explain to us the business of Banca Caboto ? Banca Caboto is a financial company established in 1948; in 1992 it joined the Ambroveneto Group, through which it joined Banca Intesa, Italy's largest banking group, in 2001. As part of Gruppo Intesa, Banca Caboto’s business is focused on capital markets. Our customers are mainly institutional investors, insurance companies, credit institutions, large public and private companies, as well as the distribution networks of banks and financial services providers. The merger with Banca Intesa has led Caboto to be restructured to rationalize the Group's investment banking activities. The most important parts of its core business were maintained and expanded, incorporating several strategic sectors from the parent company. Of course, the IT organization of Banca Caboto has also been impacted by this rationalization. I Could you describe to us your position within the IT Department of Banca Caboto? I personally work within the DOF (Finance Operations) organization and I’m in charge of “Application Development and Governance” for the Finance department. The problem I What were the major challenges you were facing? In 2005, Caboto’s IT department was merged into Banca Intesa’s IT organization in charge of managingFinance.TheresultwasthecreationofonesuperITstructuresupportingtheentireFinance unitofGruppoIntesa.Ofcourse,suchamergerrequiredafullunderstandingoftheexistingsystems sothatwecouldmakethemostappropriateandobjectivedecisionsintermsofapplicationportfolio and strategy. We thus needed to get an objective assessment of the health and structure of the back-office applications to be able to identify the redundant areas of the Caboto applications with the new system. Mainly, we wanted to answer the following questions: CAST forum on Application Intelligence Interview with Dott. Paolo Bettini, Head of Application Development and Governance at Banca Intesa T E S T I M O N I A L A C H I E V E I N S I G H T. D E L I V E R E X C E L L E N C E . “This objective information was critical to us since we were in the middle of the merger and had to make decisions regarding actions linked to corrective and evolutive maintenance.”
  • • What is the quality of the applications and how should it evolve in the future? • Are these applications easily maintainable, and how much workload should we forecast? • Which will be the critical factors to consider when introducing new functionalities? As you know, it is a big challenge to assess strategic applications developed years ago. Most often the teams have changed, the technical documentation is incomplete or out-of-date: the technical knowledge of the application had vanished. Toovercomethesechallenges,weobviouslyrequiredanin-depth,objectiveandholisticviewofour existing information system made up of very complex applications, various technologies and managed by several outsourcers. The Solution I What prompted your interest into the CAST Application Intelligence Platform? Within this context, we looked for solutions which enabled us to quickly get an accurate and objective knowledge of our applications as well as the ability to evaluate the risks coming from integration activities in order to manage them proactively. We also wanted to ascertain the status of the outsourced applications at each delivery, focusing on quality and maintainability. We found that CAST was a key player in providing Application Intelligence solutions and could see its platform was unique in matching our specific business needs: one single solution to provide us with an in-depth analysis of our application portfolio (10 applications totalling about 3 million lines of code) made up of different development languages and technological environments (Oracle PL/SQL, Java/J2EE). I How did you implement the CAST Application Intelligence Platform within your organization? For the implementation itself, we tried to avoid monopolizing internal resources. We chose to use CAST’s consultants to perform a series of technical audits of our applications over a period of 21 months to assess and monitor the technical quality of our business applications’ modules over time. These assessments provided us with unbiased metrics and information we could easily access using various drill-down views (by application area, single application, application module and by technology) to rapidly acquire a satisfactory level of knowledge about our application portfolio in termsoffunctionalandtechnicalcomplexity,adherencetoarchitecturalstandards,bestpractices, etc... This objective information was critical to us since we were in the middle of the merger and had to make decisions regarding actions linked to corrective and evolutive maintenance. Given the importance and complexity of the application, it would have been impossible to obtain objective criteria of this sort without automation. We discovered that CAST allowed us to automate these assessments and provided us a much more complete technical coverage than what could have been done manually. Today we have set up quarterly assessments in order to measure and control qualitative metrics about the health of our applications and the trends in terms of technical complexity over time. Concretely, this is how we conducted each application assessment: • First, the CAST consultants interviewed our application experts to define the objectives of the assessments • Then, we launched the analysis of the applications using the CAST Application Intelligence Platform in order to check the metrics, best practices and development standard rules we had decided to monitor “Given the importance and complexity of our applications, it would have been impossible to obtain objective criteria of this sort without using software.”
  • “CAST increased our confidence in our outsourcers’ ability to adhere to project milestones.” www.castsoftware.com CAST Headquarters North America : +1 212-871-8330 Europe: +33 1 46 90 21 00 Copyright © 01/2011 CAST All Rights Reserved - Privacy Statement • Once this analysis was done, the CAST consultants work with the IT Managers in charge of the applications to identify the strengths and weaknesses for each indicator and launch corrective actions The Results I What were the business results of these assessments? These regular assessments have brought us two types of benefits: 1 From an internal point of view, we are now proactively managing the application portfolio, in terms of complexity and quality, and our Application Governance process has brought immediate results. .We have noticed a clear reduction of the complexity of the applications, increasingmaintainabilityandmoreadherencetothestandardsandbestpracticesprescribed. This had immediate positive effects on our responsiveness to business demands and our costs – both for the short and the long term. 2 Moreover, these assessments also enabled us to monitor our outsourcers, by assessing the quality of their deliverables, and even to benchmark them – which should help us in making future choices to reduce the number of providers. The deadlines for the merger being critical, CAST allowed us to ensure that our projects would be delivered on time and on budget. That was the first priority and CAST increased our confidence in our outsourcers’ ability to adhere to project milestones. The information we gathered also offered us the reassurance that the requested corrections were well implemented and the confidence that the level of quality of applications would remain stable over time, which was key in terms of maintenance budgets.