The team could not have completed the project without a team of architects and practitioners who could engage all facets of the business. For two years, the team created a community of chief architects and roadmap practitioners who brought a cross-functional view of business and IT architecture to roadmap planning. By successfully engaging business executives, technology leadership, business systems planning, governance, finance, risk and control, service delivery and operations, and in-country technology teams globally, Barclay's was able to develop roadmaps at least three years out for all business units.
Discover Financial Services
With 10,500 employees and 1,400 IT professionals, Discover Financial Services has a big IT footprint. IT supports all lines of business, from credit card issuing to direct banking to payment services. Discover operates with a "less is more" corporate philosophy and the EA department has fewer than 15 people.
In late 2007, Discover IT management saw great potential in recasting the EA function from being solely focused on EA technical analysis and standards to being a facilitator of strategic business alignment across the company. The company launched its Enterprise Architecture Repository project to incorporate a more efficient use of EA capabilities by all stakeholders in the company.
With this repository, the EA team has established five new core competencies: improve the business through IT strategic alignment, coordinate innovation across the company, act as a center for professional (certified) EA architects, aggregate technical "meta" information, and provide governance for technology standards across Discover.
The investment in an EA Repository and metadata has yielded efficiencies that have led Discover to more effective technical assessments -- a process that was once quite cumbersome. By introducing the EA Repository, the company was able to identify expensive and outdated legacy applications that resulted in application "tuning." This step alone provided $500,000 in processing cost savings.
With a complete view of all IT across the company, strategic business assessments of proposed projects are now completed in a timely and well-organized manner. As an example, Discover's Architecture Review Board, which evaluates and governs all IT-related projects, has seen substantial reductions in the review and approval process. In 2007 only 40 percent of submitted designs were reviewed and approved in less than 10 days, but by the end of 2009 that number increased to 92 percent.
"If EA is to make a different, I would expect mechanisms to be in place to execute its influence in project portfolio management and development projects," noted Marsh. "It's important to consider how to measure this and even better to have already noted benefits."
With the EA Repository project, Discover has enjoyed significant cost conservation: As a direct result of the project and the Architecture Review Board improvements, the company saw $4.4 million in IT savings and/or cost avoidance in 2009; in the first quarter of 2010 it has already documented $390,000 worth of savings. Not only does the EA Repository serve as a central tool for the overall IT governance process, more importantly, through the increased visibility that it offers, EA is able to contribute to strategic business decisions and to the operations of a more cost-efficient organization.
Skandia UK & International
Transformation is a word that gets thrown around frequently in business and in IT. But in the case of Skandia UK & International, which is owned by Old Mutual, transforming the IT department did indeed occur during the past two years in anticipation of projected business growth in the UK financial services market.