The initiative expanded the scope of enterprise architecture at Northwestern Mutual to include business architecture and a service-oriented architecture for specific IT functionality. In addition, there was deep EA investment in creating a big data analytics environment and establishing a mobile computing environment. The solution design process, once described as "design by consensus," was re-engineered and is now governed by a new "applied architecture process." It works in concert with other project delivery disciplines and integrates with the company's corporate project portfolio by establishing accountability for designs, managed by a solution lead.
An architecture review board was established with diverse membership to provide governance and visibility for all architecturally significant design decisions. Managing cultural change was both the biggest challenge and the biggest reward -- fostering behavior to accept accountability and positioning the right people with the skill sets to meet those demands. In addition to time savings, the company is realizing substantial bottom-line benefits from the improved technology innovation process. In 2011, cost avoidance benefits amounted to $5.6 million.
Eric Meredith, an EA Awards judge who is vice president of enterprise architecture governance at PNC Bank, offered this assessment of Northwestern Mutual's transformation: "I rate them highly for running IT like a business, their increase in project predictability, measured cost savings, and leveraging their technology portfolio as managed assets."
Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia. It has expanded its business both inside Russia and to countries in Central and Eastern Europe (such as Ukraine and Belarus) and south of the Russian border in Kazakhstan, China, and India. This expansion has been accompanied by an increasing number of new developments, including new products, centralized data processing, and various organizational changes.
With the banking environment in Europe and Asia in flux, Sberbank has had to adjust its procedures and decision making on the fly. At the same time, it has raised net profit 2.5 to 3 percent while increasing retail deposits more than 45 percent and target shares in Russian banking assets between 25 and 30 percent.
Sberbank began its EA practice in the third quarter of 2009 and has a core EA team that includes business, enterprise application, and integration architects. Sberbank clearly defined its focus and targeted application and BPM platform architecture, as well as created a bankwide risk management system. A concerted effort was also applied to developing remote service channels (from ATMs to mobile and Internet banking), along with a new processing system architecture.
Looking forward, Sberbank has set a number of IT goals. Sberbank wants to develop its information architecture (big data, social network analysis) and enhance and integrate its CRM systems and social networking. Plans to implement an ECM (enterprise content management) system for unified storage and information management are also under way.
David Prior of GlaxoSmithKine said this about Sberbank's EA initiative: "They have done huge amounts in a short time and present a maturity that larger companies haven't achieved after decades."
Telstra Global is a leading provider of managed networked solutions around the world. The company has operations in Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with assets it acquired through the integration of REACH in 2011.