Cognizant Technology Solutions, led by Sanghosh Bhalla, Niloy Sengupta and Akshaya Bhargava from the firm’s Banking and Financial Services Consulting practice, recently helped a top three North American bank, adopt BIAN and optimize their enterprise portfolio of applications that support business functions across all of its business units.

This “universal bank”is a market leader in the US in several market segments including retail and commercial banking, lending and mortgages, wealth management and capital markets, and over several decades have amassed an enormous portfolio of ~6000 applications. It commissioned an enterprise-wide Application Portfolio Rationalization program to support some strategic business drivers such as reduction of TCO of apps by eliminating redundancies, increased governance and controls, ensure standardization for better risk and regulatory compliance, simplification and application modernization including increased cloud adoption, enabling additional growth of business opportunities and improving user-experience. The program had a target to reduce the application portfolio size by at least 15% within three years.

Cognizant joined the program and drove the adoption of BIAN 5.0 Service Landscape as the framework to compare apps based on the functional overlaps. BIAN proved useful to the program objectives in the following ways:

  1. Provided the enterprise view of business capabilities: The bank needed a framework that could provide a single unified view of its business capabilities at a high level. While it had several capability models at the line of business levels, they were inadequate to provide the enterprise view that was critical for this program.
  2. Developed Capability based Overlap Analytics: Each application was mapped to BIAN Service Domains and then clustered based on overlaps. Subsequently, the application health & wellness metrics, as mentioned above, were applied to individual clusters, and each app was scored based on those metrics. The applications that scored low in the wellness tests became candidates for retirement in that cluster. Subsequently, the program team started discussions with the business and technology leaders to decommission those apps. BIAN based overlap analytics was critical in these negotiations to educate the stakeholders that such decommissioning would not hinder their day-to-day business operations, as they had alternatives.
  3. Sustained an Optimal portfolio of applications: Beyond rationalizing the existing portfolio, it was essential to ensure that the proliferation of applications with overlapping capabilities does not happen in the future. Therefore two new checkpoints, based on BIAN based capability analytics, were implemented in the New Application Development process. The first is during the Concept Review stage during Ideation, before funding approvals. This checkpoint ensures that the bank will not fund any new apps that have a potential to overlap with those that are already deployed and will not be retired in the near-term. The second checkpoint is during the New Application Onboarding stage, where the Enterprise Architects will review and validate that a new app that is being built or bought does not have any capability overlaps with any existing apps in production.
  4. Established Portfolio Health KPIs: We drove the creation of several application health & wellness metrics to score apps. These metrics looked into the fitment of applications to current and future business strategy; the criticality of the apps to business functions; the degree of alignment of apps to enterprise technology standards; the degree of aging; the degree of compliance of apps to risk and regulatory compliance parameters and the total cost of ownership.
  5. Adoption of BIAN as the Enterprise Business Capability Model: Increased participation from client’s Architect community in BIAN Working Groups and set the stage for Domain Driven Design and Microservices architecture leading to agile and component-driven enterprise architecture.