IBM launches regulation framework for financial services

Source: IBM

IBM (NYSE: IBM) Global Business Services today announced a new financial services framework to help banks tackle regulation and keep their key business services available. This framework comes in two parts:

  • An assessment to analyse the  IT resilience of key business services across a Bank or Financial Institution 
  • The remedial work needed post assessment. 

With the growing demand for 24x7 'always on' business services the importance of resilience is greater than ever, fuelled further by the increasing frequency of changed industry regulations. However it's not just regulation, as every organisation has to deal with challenges and changes. Some may be periodic, like mergers and acquisitions or major projects, while others involved in just 'keeping the show on the road' are present continually and require repeated attention. Very few organisations can afford to prepare fully for every eventuality, making it vital to have conscious, repeated assessment and action to deal with the most pressing.

"Being resilient is more than just being good at recovering from failures; it also requires the ability to prevent failures and take action to avoid them. To use an analogy, you need to be good at fire prevention rather than just fire fighting: you need to be good at putting out fires when they break out, but you need to be even better at spotting where they might occur and removing the likelihood" said Martin Jowett, Distinguished Engineer and CTO for Financial Services at IBM UK & Ireland.

He added; "This offering will help financial institutions determine their resilience capability by carrying out a structured assessment, undertaking resilience proving and scoring their maturity of processes to manage resilience in order to make systemic improvements."

Resilience Framework

The framework contains three complementary methods:

a)        Resilience Assessment - question-based checks to understand how resilient the client is;
b)        Resilience Proving - principles and a scorecard to demonstrate the clients resilience;
c)        Resilience Maturity - a matrix to check how well the client manages resilience.

"When you assess your resilience, where should you look?" said Gary Francis, Managing Consultant within Technology Strategy at IBM UK & Ireland.  "Each of the above methods needs a way to drill down into the IT organisation, its technology and the capabilities and performance of the IT organisation itself, including its supporting processes.  IBM is introducing the Resilience Framework Dimensions to achieve this and help organise the data systematically, while making it easier to identify the people in the client's organisation who answers the questions and give their input."

These dimensions will be broken down into preparation and demonstration Framework Activities by IBM. "These activities will help clients to consider the topic across the full lifecycle of activity, from design to BAU operation and continual service improvement." said Martin Jowett.

"By adopting a conscious approach to preparation and demonstration, organisations can achieve higher degrees of resilience and be able to demonstrate this to business and regulatory stakeholders."

The framework assessment is available immediately and typically takes between 6 weeks and 12 weeks time depending on the scope of coverage.

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