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About Your Profit and Loss Platform No.5 - Where?

Dear Bank IT Manager,

I hope that you have had a good Christmas / New Year period: covered by a romantic snow if you are in the North or blessed by a brilliant sunlight if you are in the South. Personally I have to say that I am a little bored of fog, which is very common in my town. In any case my vegetables are growing through cold, ice and fog bravely.

During last year I have been following the Six Ws method to describe my thoughts about P&L platforms. In Catalan we say “Any nou, vida nova” which can be translated literally as “New year, new life”. Well, in this case I will not follow this say and I will continue with the same method.

In my latest posts I elaborated about the “Who”, highlighting the importance of knowing in advance who the users of our platform will be. I also talked about the “What”, stressing the importance of dipping into details to understand what P&L means for that specific organization. So now we should speak about…

Where:

You might be tempted to think that it is not relevant where processes happen and where stakeholders are: We are in the New Cloud era! Well, I suggest that you resist that temptation; there are better temptations in life to succumb to.

One first concern should be purely from the operational model perspective. For example, how are we going to work with people in every continent? We should establish a methodology in advance that is acceptable for all relevant people. This methodology should not only be that people will travel whenever required. If things get more complex and timing expands we might end up with dozens of people in the air every single week of their lives. This methodology should provide all the interaction and reporting that facilitate a governance “in the cloud”. Again we should agree all this before the project starts.

Another obvious consequence of having stakeholders spread all over the world: time zones. For example, are you planning to use American analysts, whereas the users of the platform are massively in Asia? I guarantee that this can work well, but it requires a certain effort e.g. to plan daily UAT meetings! Another example is that even an apparently easy requirement like “we only need production support during working days on office hours” can become problematic. What does this really mean for our support developers in different locations?

Where users are and processes happen will also imply different regulatory and audit requirements with a potential technical impact. For example, at least some years ago South Korea was enforcing all P&L data to be physically held within the country. This could imply not being able to re-use the platform already working in other countries.

I am sure that there could be other examples that prove the importance of wondering where things happen. But in any case I hope that this short sample will be sufficient to open your mind about this. 

Hope it helps,

Miquel Febrer, Director, GFT Iberia.



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