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A vision for a financial service organizations information system


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Encanvas is a private-cloud information platform that enables private banks and investment companies to manage their stakeholders, agreements and relationships - producing as many applications as they need on a single platform that scales and adapts according to their needs.

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A vision for a financial service organizations information system

  1. 1. Executive Briefing A Vision for a Loan-Making Financial Organization’s Information Platform Version 1.2 August 2013 Encanvas is a registered trademark of Encanvas Inc. All other trademarks and trade names used in this publication are recognised as belonging to their respective owners. Copyright exists on this material. No part of this document may be replicated or reused without the prior written consent of Encanvas Inc.
  2. 2. The WDB Trust is a financial services organization responsible for capacity building and fund raising for its innovative development programmes that are aimed at improving the lives of rural women. They improve their lives through creation of sustainable businesses; women secure their own jobs in their businesses and create job opportunities for their communities. In 2012 Encanvas presented a vision of an information systems environment to WDB Group. Subsequent to this presentation, Encanvas was commissioned to produce an application that would represent a pilot for the complete vision, give WDB confidence in Encanvas’ ability to deliver on promises and in the technology itself. This pilot has been successfully completed and is in use by WDB as a ‘real-life’ working system at present. Once long-term validation is complete, the intention is to move on to the next value-adding application described in the vision. The Vision One platform As many applications as relevant Advanced functionality Genuine flexibility from the lowest level up = a more profitable and compliant organization
  3. 3. One Platform As organizations have grown they have responded to external and internal demands by implementing a wide range of good-but-separate systems. The number of these systems has, in many organizations, reached an unmanageable level. They:  Constitute an unnecessarily high overhead to maintain and are thus a drain on shareholders’ funds.  Provide – in most instances – only the basic level of support for users in their day-to-day roles. They are seldom tailored to individual roles’ requirements (it’s too expensive). This fact makes workers less efficient than they would be if well served with information in one place. Lower efficiency = higher cost.  Seldom ‘talk’ to each other – little or no ability to share and exchange information as would be appropriate.  Present a ‘compliance nightmare’. Data can be held in many places – a multitude of applications’ databases, on stand-alone PCs, even on paper records. Those tasked with ensuring regulatory and internal compliance find it difficult to understand what information is where and who uses it for what task. This scenario pushes up the cost of compliance and increases operational risk. What if all (or most) of these separate applications could be replicated on ONE TECHNICAL PLATFORM that provides a common, rational and shared data structure? This would enable:  Only one platform to maintain = reduced costs.  Duplication of data to be eliminated = reduced risk = reduced costs.  A single (correct) view of data = reduced risk, better compliance = reduced costs.  A significant increase in data security = better compliance = reduced costs.  A significant increase in user convenience (all systems have a similar look and feel, single sign- on etc.) = more efficient workers = reduced costs.  Tailoring of user interfaces to suit individual roles (or even people) to incorporate best practice and experience = more efficient workers = reduced costs.  The bringing of all data and information into the IT professionals’ sphere of management and control by minimizing the use of offline and informal systems (spread sheets, risky mash-ups etc.) = better security, business sustainability, compliance and efficiency = lower costs.  Great reporting – in and across different applications = quick to achieve = lower costs, better decision support = higher profits, better compliance = lower risk = reduced costs. Other feeds and streams Common Applications Platform (Encanvas) Common database System A E B C D
  4. 4. So, any application (system) built on the Encanvas platform if fully integrated with all other applications, shares a common database and data structures when relevant, can ‘talk’ to a wide range of other data sources, both internal and external and has exceptional security capability. Speed and Flexibility ‘Hard coding’, fixed systems, ‘one size fits all’ – all very 2000s! No ambitious, growing customer-oriented company today should accept the constraints of most business systems (mainly authored in the 1980s and 1990s). Flexibility – real flexibility that could almost equate to total change – is now required of systems. This does not imply weak, ‘light weight’ or insecure systems – it implies clever, 21st Century technology. An organization committing to rigid systems is committing to inevitable low performance and high costs. At the core of Encanvas lies the design philosophy that dictates that the implementation of applications written on the Encanvas platform should be in the order of ten times faster to produce than installation of a complex software package and twenty times faster than coding (developing) from scratch. The reality of this philosophy is easily demonstrated but its most important implication is the extraordinary flexibility brought to the development, testing and operating of systems. Case examples demonstrate this. The Pilot It was agreed that the application for the pilot phase would be the loans application and due diligence system. This was developed ‘across the desk’ with the very loans officers and operations executives who will be using the system. The pilot, in its first stage, is fully operational and ready for further enhancement. A demonstration of the system is available. Next Stages It is foreseen that the next stages will be: 1. Enhance application system (interface with credit bureaux, expanded reporting) 2. Field support module (to support field-based mentoring, tracking, monitoring, evaluation and early-warning activities) 3. Expansion of financial management functionality (creating an integrated loans and deposit management environment) 4. Partner reporting (ability to systematically evidence loan beneficiary’s’ success and report on this to donors, fund managers, official agencies and other stakeholders) 5. Personal security (integrated GSM-based personal security and ‘whereabouts’ system for field- based staff) 6. Business intelligence and reporting (remember, it’s one platform, so intelligence is not constrained by borders and silos) 7. Compliance controls, alerts and reporting Milestones As the IT environment is built on one permanent and stable platform, the development of any application is not dependent on that of another. WDB can choose the order of the development to suit their circumstances. For more information please contact or visit our website at