Business Technology Strategic Plan: 2013 - 2017Subscribe
Business Technology Strategy Focus Areas
The business technology strategy of the FDIC is comprised of
three key focus areas: applications modernization, strategic imperatives, and
business agility. Each of these areas is detailed in the sections that follow.
The FDIC has a large and complex
applications portfolio consisting of in-house developed applications (“custom”
applications) and purchased applications (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf or “COTS”
applications) that are used to perform day-to-day operations. The custom
applications are maintained and upgraded by FDIC and contractor staff. The
COTS applications are upgraded through releases of new software by the vendor
that provided the original software.
Many of the custom applications
were developed more than 10 years ago and were written using programming
technologies that are obsolete. The Consolidated Applications Modernization
Strategy (CAMS) project was initiated in 2009 to address the business impact of
technology obsolescence in the FDIC’s custom applications and to develop a
strategy to mitigate the associated risks within a 5-7 year period. A portion
of the CAMS analysis identified technologies used within the applications
portfolio that are obsolete – either no longer supported by the manufacturer or
where there is significant difficulty recruiting programmers that can repair
applications using these technologies. The analysis also identified
technologies that are used in FDIC applications that are no longer compatible
with the future design of the information technology architecture. Approximately
one-third of the applications were found to use one or more of these obsolete
or incompatible technologies.
Stakeholders that had an
understanding of the business operational processes, data, and technologies related to the applications portfolio
identified opportunities for business process improvement and technical obsolescence mitigation. Using this input, the teams risk ranked the applications
to determine which should be upgraded first. Those applications that were
mission critical, had multiple obsolete technologies and had gaps in
fulfilling the business need were ranked highest. Business divisions completed
road maps that document the sequence in which obsolete applications should be upgraded
or replaced. Opportunities for application consolidation and business process
reengineering were identified and incorporated into the roadmaps. Although some
progress was made on the roadmaps between 2009 and 2011, the banking crisis necessitated
that most information technology software development efforts were used to meet
urgent regulatory and process changes rather than to remediate aging applications.
In 2012, the roadmaps were updated and remediation efforts began.
The management of technology obsolescence risk is a key
focus area of the business technology strategic plan. Technology obsolescence
is a recurring risk. Every year there are potentially new technologies to add
to the at-risk list. The risk needs to be monitored and managed continuously.
The roadmaps lay out a high level plan to address the application portfolio;
the roadmaps feed into project prioritization and selection as part of the
portfolio management governance process. The FDIC is proactively and
continuously addressing technology obsolescence risk to ensure that business
processes are not negatively affected. Detailed information on major
application modernization efforts by program area is contained in Appendix B.
In developing this business technology strategic plan, FDIC
used a systematic approach to identify strategic imperatives needed over the
next five years to address gaps in business capabilities. This
process consisted of identifying the critical business capabilities of the
FDIC, identifying the key strategy-enabling technologies, and assessing the
existing technology capabilities at the FDIC. Three strategic imperatives were
identified and developed; each is described in turn.
Interviews with FDIC executives
and key stakeholders highlighted the need to harness volumes of data and
convert it into actionable insights in order to help drive faster and better
decision-making, expedient analyses, predictable outcomes, and optimal
operational efficiency. This need will be addressed by implementing advanced
analytics through business intelligence capabilities.
Advanced analytics, an
enterprise-wide capability, is evolving to provide timely, relevant and accurate
information to enable real time decision making not only for executives,
specialized users, and analysts but for all levels of employees within an
The FDIC needs the ability to manage, collect and leverage
large data sets, of both structured and unstructured data, for various
mission-critical analyses and use across the enterprise. In addition, the
ability to assess the quality of the data, define business rules, capture data
lineage, manage the metadata, and use different techniques to understand
massive data sets coming into the FDIC as part of core business programs is
imperative. Continual growth of data within the organization is making it more
difficult to analyze and understand data. Advanced analytics will help
the FDIC to:
structured and unstructured data from external sources as well as internal FDIC
a “single version of the truth” across FDIC authoritative sources (both
internally/externally) to ensure data accuracy;
new techniques needed to enable timely analysis and interpretation of the data,
including predictive analytics, modeling, simulation and “what-if” scenarios; and
highly interactive data visualization.
The methods by which each strategic imperative may be
successfully implemented can be described in terms of the impact on the people,
process, and technology involved. The advanced analytics strategic imperative
involves people, process, and technology in the following manner.
FDIC stakeholders will be provided with the ability to harness the vast stores
of enterprise and financial data and turn it into advanced insights using
sophisticated analytical techniques and tools.
As part of the strategic imperative, FDIC will establish impactful business
processes that integrate advanced analytics for big data and provide the
deeper, exploratory perspective on the data, while having standard business
intelligence systems that provide a more structured user experience. FDIC will
refine data standards, data profiling, and stewardship principles and increase
standards and processes for enhanced master data management.
FDIC will deliver core technologies and capabilities for business intelligence
analytics and extend the technologies across the organization. The FDIC
will mature the front-end disciplines of data visualization, geospatial / mapping,
predictive analytics and mobile business intelligence and the back-end
disciplines of in-memory analytics, big data, and data quality / data
The American public and an increasingly mobile workforce
expect to be able to access high-quality information and applications anywhere,
anytime, and on any device. As part of the development of this business
technology strategic plan, the FDIC conducted a workforce technology assessment
by asking all internal users of FDIC technology to participate in a voluntary
on-line technology services survey. The responses were compiled and analyzed.
A summary of the survey results is provided in Appendix C.
The results point toward the need for FDIC to expand its
mobile technology capabilities for both the FDIC workforce and public.
Industry and society trends also led to the development of the initiative to
expand mobile technologies and support mobile devices. A 2012 report
estimated that 46% of US adults use a smartphone; 87% of the phone users surf
the Internet daily with the phone. President Obama has committed to making
high-speed wireless services available to at least 98% of Americans. The
availability of new wireless broadband services will allow more Americans to
use the Internet to learn, work and play; their expectation for delivery of
mobile applications and services will continue to grow.
The FDIC will develop a
“mobile first” strategy which follows the mindset of creating information once
to publish everywhere (internal applications, external web site, etc.).
Content will be decoupled from the presentation, to allow greater flexibility
in development approaches. Web API-driven services will be leveraged for
interoperability and openness. The FDIC has already begun this work on the www.fdic.gov site; in November 2012 the FDIC
launched a redesign of its popular online BankFind application to enhance the look and usability of the site,
including improved ease of use from mobile devices.
The mobility strategic imperative involves people, process,
and technology in the following manner:
FDIC stakeholders, including the public, will be able to access FDIC
information from anywhere at any time.
Process: Development processes will be updated to reflect the mobile
development strategy. The FDIC will institute policies to leverage Web API-driven
services as part of the development processes.
FDIC will update the public www.fdic.gov site
in a phased approach to implement responsive design, allowing ease of use from
mobile and traditional devices. The FDIC will expand its internal Wi-Fi
network, improving reliability and supporting expected exponential growth in
traffic. Other technologies required to support both a mobile workforce and public
stakeholders will be explored and addressed.
The FDIC continues to rely on paper documents and the
processing of paper documents for a majority of its business capabilities (see
Appendix A for information on FDIC business capabilities). When developing this
business technology strategic plan, the need to aggressively pursue an
electronic document management strategic imperative became apparent. The FDIC
is awash in paper documents and suffers from the inability to efficiently
route, share, track, retrieve, and archive document-based content and
information. In particular, the remote work force (largely the bank examiner
community) does not have access to adequate document management services that
would relieve the burden of processing and transporting paper documents. Because
managing paper and unstructured content at the FDIC is largely manual, time
consuming, and inefficient, the FDIC will embark on a strategic imperative to
improve the efficiency and reliability for electronic document processing and
The underlying theme for the electronic document management
strategic imperative is “born digital, stays digital.” The FDIC has some
electronic document management capabilities in place today; the solutions in
place are not highly scalable. The FDIC will implement a robust and scalable
foundation for enterprise document management capabilities. The approach to
this strategic imperative includes:
Implementing an enterprise Document Management system;
Transitioning legacy document management systems to the new
Implementing a service center (more detail provided in later
section) to provide guidance and support for automation and improvement of
electronic document processing and workflow automation;
Implementing a strategy for storage and retention of documents;
Acquiring and deploying tools to fill gaps in document management
Automating paper based process.
This strategic imperative is related to the FDIC’s
Information Management and Compliance (IMAC) program. The purpose of IMAC is to
develop and establish a coordinated and interrelated set of policies,
processes, and technologies that support the FDIC legal e-discovery obligations
and the corporate records and information management functions. The records and
information management functions are being modernized and enhanced so that the
FDIC has a more uniform, defensible, efficient, and secure records management
model, while maintaining flexibility and productivity for all employees.
The electronic document strategic imperative involves
people, process, and technology in the following manner:
FDIC employees will adapt to a new culture that is less paper intensive and
commit to use of new processes and tools which underlie “born digital, stays
digital.” They will store documents on appropriate platforms with the proper
The FDIC will significantly reduce the number of paper based processes,
implementing electronic document management practices with automated workflow
when practical. Paper will be rarely used; when it is, it will be captured
digitally in an automated fashion Retention policies will, for the most part,
be automatically applied.
FDIC will implement a robust and scalable enterprise document management system
and automated workflow technologies. An enterprise scanning solution will be
deployed to capture paper documents digitally. Document storage will be
configured so that retention policies are automatically applied and content is
indexed for enterprise discovery.
The events of the past five years have highlighted the need
for the FDIC to improve its business agility. The FDIC needs to be able to
respond quickly to changes in the financial industry and government
regulations. The global financial crisis hit the FDIC full-force in 2008, when
the FDIC closed twenty-five institutions after only closing a handful over the
previous fifteen years. The FDIC has closed over 450 institutions in the past
five years; this workload necessitated a ramping of staff, opening of temporary
offices, and expansion of the information technology infrastructure.
In addition, the FDIC has been subject to many regulatory
changes over the past five years as well, including the Emergency Economic
Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) which raised deposit insurance limits and
created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The FDIC also launched the
Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP) in 2008. In 2010, the Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) was passed. The
law greatly expanded the FDIC’s regulatory responsibilities. The FDIC is still
implementing processes and application changes to accommodate the rulemakings
which resulted from the law (note that some rulemakings are still in process).
In the information technology arena, the FDIC has focused on
three areas to improve business agility; each is described in turn.
The FDIC’s Division of Information Technology has
implemented a service center concept to provide specific information technology
services in a client focused manner with a business solution approach.
The first of these, the Business Intelligence
Service Center, was established in 2011. The mission of the Business
Intelligence Service Center is to provide expert technical advice and
assistance to business users in the acquisition, management, and analysis of
data acquired from internal and external sources. The Business Intelligence
Service Center conducts analysis of data needs, sources, and content, and
recommends strategies, techniques, and methods to acquire, structure, quality
check, and stage data for reporting and analysis by business users. The center
designs and implements data warehouses and datamarts, and the extract, transform,
and load (ETL) processes to populate and maintain data warehouses and
datamarts. The center promotes data reuse and standardization, metadata
development and registration, and data sharing across the enterprise. The
center has been integral to the work in managing and reporting on data related
to the implementation of Dodd-Frank and other major business objectives of the
The second service center will be established in
2013. The new Enterprise Document Management (EDM) Service Center will provide
a single organization to execute FDIC’s Enterprise Document Management vision
by delivering the needed EDM solutions, services, and capabilities to its
clients. EDM solutions are a key portion of the technology solutions provided
to DIT’s clients. Among the goals for the center:
Provide a cohesive strategy and governance
for all of FDIC’s content management technologies and solutions;
Evolve the enterprise technologies,
capabilities, and functionality to build large-scale automated content
management solutions to support multiple business processes;
Provide a specialized and highly skilled
organization to guide clients in the fulfillment of their content management
and support EDM solutions to the FDIC; and
Increase the level of content management
expertise and adoption across the FDIC.
The demand for applications continues to grow as the FDIC
business are seek to increase efficiency of operations, reduce risk, handle more
volume, respond to changing regulatory requirements, and implement new
technologies. Not all application development efforts are led from within the FDIC’s Division of
Information Technology (DIT). Application development
within the business are provides the FDIC with agility to address immediate
business needs with minimal resource demands on DIT.
All information technology application development efforts
at the FDIC must adhere to certain established practices and standards to ensure
that the solutions meet the agency’s business needs, are consistent with the
relevant risk management policies, comply with the applicable federal
government and FDIC regulations and statutes, and are maintainable. Specialized support
service units have been set up within the FDIC to assist the development teams
in addressing these requirements. This approach allows flexibility of having a
decentralized application development approach while protecting FDIC data,
retaining application integrity, and ensuring that project solutions continue
to meet the mission and functions of the FDIC.
DIT must deliver systems and services in a timely, effective
manner to support accomplishing the mission of safeguarding the U.S financial
system. The success criteria for meeting this charge include:
Systems and services delivered to customers provide the
critically needed business and operational capabilities;
Systems and services are delivered when needed by the
Systems and services are delivered within the budget allocated.
Business process improvement efforts are focused on
improving service delivery by removing impediments that prevent achieving the
success criteria. Activities that are candidates for change are those that
exhibit excessive cycle time or latency, include non-value-added steps, or are
characterized by poor quality and rework. The improvement efforts result in
reduced cycle time or latency, elimination of non-value-added steps,
elimination of rework, and/or improved quality.
Business process improvement is a continuous activity. Information
technology agility and responsiveness within the FDIC continues to increase as
process improvements are implemented. In 2012, the time it takes to provision
development environments was significantly reduced, having a positive impact on
service delivery. Service delivery improvement efforts will continue along
with other business process improvement efforts that will enhance organizational
capacity planning and reduce resource contention.