20 Nov 2023

Carrying out an ecosystem integration project for a well-known international bank

This is a leading bank with strong bases in all major emerging markets, including the Asia Pacific region and Europe – a global network that has been cultivated by over more than two centuries of expertise. The bank provides financial services to small and medium businesses, governments, institutional investors and private individuals.

Defining an integration architecture

The Chief Administration Office (CAO) were embarking on a digital transformation initiative, which would result in the bank migrating to more cloud-based systems. The CAO has operational responsibility for Corporate Comms, Social Media, Human Resources, Legal and Global Governance.

The CAO had a range of systems, projects and initiatives in progress and an integration architecture was emerging to support the bank’s objectives. However, it was necessary to define this architecture considering the CAO strategy to leverage more cloud technology and provide a secure and easy way for vendors to transmit data.

The partnership with Integrella

Due to the critical nature of the integration architecture, Integrella were introduced to provide directional assurance of the required building blocks, product options, and non-functional configurations. Integrella’s specialist integration knowledge was used to investigate and address these concerns in the shape of a short but wide-ranging review of the integration architecture, spanning 4-6 weeks.

Benefits of the project

  1. Integrella’s integration architecture review provided key findings, which when implemented by the bank, would see benefits including:
  2. Increasing use of SaaS applications, especially by Comms and HR, which would result in greater collaboration between departments to drive operational efficiency.
  3. Loose coupling of applications was recommended to enable a more flexible approach of connecting systems, making it easier to plug/unplug. This would also reduce the vendor lock-in, therefore providing the bank with the option of changing suppliers with minimal disruption to drive cost savings where appropriate.
  4. Improved visibility, auditability and control for all departments within the CAO.
  5. Improved design, maintainability and ultimately, an increase in innovation.
  6. Improved lifecycle management.

Integrella’s key findings

Integrella’s review of the current architecture found that the integration patterns were not always being implemented consistently, with different approaches being taken by each department. They also found that available technologies within the bank were often unused or used inconsistently, making it harder for developers to decide which solution to implement, for operations to support and for future developers to maintain. It was clear that teams were not aligned or being used correctly – with management left out of the equation and little awareness of API Management, which would have made it harder to deliver future innovation within the CAO and across the bank.

Recommendations based upon review

Integrella’s integration architecture review generated several recommendations going forward, to deliver a successful digital transformation for the CAO, including:

  1. A significant opportunity for the CAO to leverage an API Management platform. The benefits and use of API Management need to be communicated and understood.
  2. A standard set of integration technologies and an agreed approach to integration is essential for the CAO to achieve the defined objectives. This could drastically increase efficiency of delivery (25%-30%) and maintenance (30%-40%).
  3. The CAO Reference Architecture for the Integration Ecosystem should be amended and distributed to the team.
  4. Ops and Dev teams should work more closely on the solution for the Integration Ecosystem to implement System Management EIP’s and provide greater operational support, as well as improved visibility to future architects and developers.
  5. The following deliverables of this project should be ratified and incorporated into a set of Integration Principles:
    • Integration Rules
    • Architecture Decisions
    • Tooling Decisions

Who is Integrella?

Integrella is a specialist IT services company supplying round-the-clock support to organisations across the education and healthcare sectors, as well as in the public sector, financial services, retail, and utilities sectors.

We enable digital transformation through Agile, full-stack product development, API management, DevOps and Microservices. Our expert IT integration services include consulting, development, delivery, support, and resourcing. We deliver our solutions by applying agile principles, developing accelerators, and equipping our team with the expertise they need.