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The Essential Building Blocks of a Successful Digital Landscape

By Neelesh Prabhu, DTCC Managing Director & Chief Technology Architect | 2 minute read | February 22, 2022

Recently, I had the opportunity to join several top digital, data and IT leaders for a CIO Talk Network (CTN) webinar, "Making Digital Practical and Measurably Impactful.”

Building a digital foundation is a top objective for most data and IT leaders. Yet through the digital transformation journey, pockets of unawareness and inconsistent experiences remain. We examined the current pitfalls and how to successfully make the digital landscape practical and measurably impactful.

Related: Technology & Systemic Risk in Financial Services

Communication Is Critical

Across industries, data can help drive businesses to the next level of the digital landscape, but inconsistent expectations are a major stumbling block; stakeholders want everything to become digital yet have different interpretations of what exactly that entails.

A main reason for these varying expectations is due to communication breakdowns. Setting clear and transparent expectations across the board to incapsulate the entire digital journey will go a long way to level-setting expectations. Only once everyone involved is on board with these expectations should you move forward with implementing new processes.

In order to visualize user expectations of data, I tend to compare it to an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg that sits above the water represents the promises and hype of a data rich, digital environment - but that is just a tiny portion of the “data iceberg". Not many people consider the mass of ice below the water, which in this case is the tremendous amount of work needed to employ data effectively. Leaders need to articulate the scope of work for processes such as implementing change management, applying artificial intelligence principles, and ensuring the right data elements are available.


Employing a “Shift Left” Approach

To have an effective digital transformation, we must recognize the fact that security, resilience, and compliance are basic thresholds to meet and build upon. At DTCC, we believe in a “Shift Left” approach to software delivery, meaning these critical factors must be considered early on in projects – not after development has begun. We make sure to embed capabilities that support the delivery of secure, resilient and compliant code as we are initially designing applications, with user stories and non-functional requirements presented to Agile squads as they create initial sprint plans.

The current landscape in financial services requires us to balance assessing and evaluating new technologies, while ensuring our existing applications and infrastructure are capable of meeting stringent resilience, security and compliance requirements. Firms should be focused and thoughtful in building frameworks and practices to blend these new demands. We must consider all scenarios – cloud connectivity, technological failures – and make sure they are incorporated into application design and development.

Neelesh Prabhu - DTCC Managing Director & Chief Technology Architect
Neelesh Prabhu

DTCC Managing Director, Architecture & Enterprise Services and Chief Architect in Information Technology