Information technology lies at the heart of all financial services. Our core strength is IT, as our people have decades of experience in financial services technology. This depth of experience and knowledge allows us to look at IT from both directions: how technology applies to business strategy and how business needs guide technology direction. Understanding the technology and its associated terminology allows us to hit the ground running on IT issues and piece together the puzzle to give a bigger picture of how IT works for, or could work for, our clients.
Our IT work includes:
- Business and Technology Alignment
- Business/Enterprise and Solutions Architecture
- Systems Requirements and Development
- Program and Project Management
- Crisis Management
- IT Operations Standards
Case Studies of Our IT Work
Linking Business and Technology Strategies
Presenting Problem: A large insurance company was undertaking several strategic reviews of business programs and redesigning its technology infrastructure to support the planned business changes. Their new Chief Information Officer (CIO) brought in NewLink to review where the business was going and if the planned technology restructuring would support the business transformation.
NLG Participation: Four NLG partners went in for three months, one as program manager and the other three taking on different business streams. They developed a questionnaire and interviewed people across the organization to determine where the business was going and what strategic elements were being followed. They used a similar process to take the pulse of the technology side. They found a total misalignment between the two. Technology focused on customer data, while the business wanted data that was product-related.
Outcome: IT did a rethink to deliver a strategy that met the needs of the business.
NLG difference: Depth of insurance industry knowledge and awareness of how different companies operate enabled the partners to help the business and technology units verbalize what they were doing, an assessment that revealed misalignment at a critical stage in the transition and allowed for a significant course correction.
A Middleware Implementation Rescue
Presenting Problem: With six weeks to go before launch, an investment division ran into serious trouble implementing a middleware product from a software vendor in New York. Executives called NLG in to troubleshoot the project.
NLG Participation: Two NLG partners found the project in disarray and the launch date to be unfeasible. They engaged an additional technology consultant who determined that while the project pieces existed, there was no documentation, no process and no leadership in place to deliver implementation of the middleware. Making matters worse for the IT department, which at that time had no IT head, a new CIO was requiring more reporting in line with his new strategies.
Outcome: To get the project back on track and provide IT leadership to the division one NLG partner took over as interim VP, managing the IT department while working in conjunction with the other partner to build a team, develop a business model and successfully phase in the implementation over an 18 month period.
Getting a Mortgage System Implementation Back on Track
Presenting Problem: Large bank bringing in a new mortgage system ran into trouble due to lack of leadership and conflict between the various players – the US software vendor, a BC-based integrator, and the bank’s business and IT divisions.
NLG Participation: Partner brought in as a strong program manager to move the project forward and address the conflict among IT parties and indecision on the business side about the project’s direction. Another NewLink associate brought in as Project Controller. Both worked for two years to get the project back on track.
Outcome: Partner got the project back in line and broke it down into manageable pieces that the different parties could work through; and remained in charge until a fulltime resource was able to take over.