As a banking co-operative operating at both local and regional levels, the Dutch bank runs a complex network of independent IT platforms often performing the same functions depending on local practices.
Anne-Marie Breuker, Rabobank business architect says: “We do many of the same things in different ways, which makes it complex. Rabobank is also becoming more global, and customers find that they are served differently in Singapore than in Utrecht. We want to change that.”
Breuker and her team spent three months gathering the data to build the physical model. “We wanted to create something that would have a wow-factor within the bank,” she says. “It had to appeal to the entire organisation, from the Board of Directors to the workplace. Preferably visually, and permanently. So, we came up with the idea for this model.”
Plans are also afoot to take the physical construction and map it in a virtual reality programme using Micorosft Holelens, she adds.
The bank is additionally collaborating with the Banking Industry Architecture Nework coalition, which runs its own schematic Business Capability Model for testing different business scenarios across an organisation’s IT services landscape, to standardise the learnings from the construction.
This is the first time an organisation has invested in visualising its own IT landscape in this way, says Hans Tesselaar, BIAN executive director. “Everyone who sees the model immediately recognises a lot of things. It provides great insight in the problems and issues of IT, in a way that a Board of Directors can also see that IT-related problems cannot be resolved in a day or so.”
Tesselaar believes other banks within the network can learn a lot from Rabo’s initiative. “Everyone who sees it wants a copy to show to their boss,” he says. “It has a wow-factor, it literally allows you to look into the future.”