AWS for Industries

3 Days to Transform Financial Services Organizational Structures

AWS developed the Experience-Based Acceleration (EBA) to help customers accelerate their journey to AWS. This transformation methodology uses hands-on, agile, and immersive interactions to build cloud capabilities. Through EBA, customers accelerate business value by removing friction points, building cross-functional teams, and enabling two-way door decisions.

Regulatory demands often define financial services’ organizational structure in a way that can hinder business agility. Business and technology functions such as compliance, security, and infrastructure are essential to deploying applications in a compliant manner. Efficiency is hindered by creating silos within an organization. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are implemented to protect the company. Oftentimes these SLAs are set with a pessimistic outlook, such as 99% of requests being completed within one day and 1% taking five days, resulting in the SLA being five days. While this safeguards the requests and ensures they are finished within the SLA, it can also impede the organization’s agility by leaving resources uncertain of when they can move forward. When multiple related requests are submitted simultaneously, this issue is further compounded.

The EBA mechanism re-integrates the supporting services into the application teams creating a shared responsibility for success. This closes the gap that exists between business objectives and technology solutions by removing silos within organizations.

It’s important to acknowledge the requirement for good governance practices and processes that have been set in place to avoid risk. The Experience Based Acceleration (EBA) methodology compliments the existing processes and accelerates them.

Solution overview
Experience-Based Acceleration (EBA) is a transformation methodology using hands-on, agile, immersive interactions to enable an organization’s Business agility to drive competitive advantage. The EBA addresses friction points, and blockers, for migration and modernization over a 3-day period. Gaining executive sponsorship and securing resource commitment are the two crucial first steps in running a successful EBA. At Executive Alignment, these steps lay the groundwork for the pre-EBA stage. Here, we define and approve the scope, identify all stakeholders and reserve time on their schedules and set in place the logistics for the event. With the groundwork in place, the 3-day execution phase can begin, leading to the last step—executive review. This is where the outcome of one EBA serves as the starting point for the next. By following these four stages, businesses can ensure that their EBA is successful and beneficial for all involved. With the right preparation, execution and post-EBA review, businesses can create a positive and productive environment for their executives, stakeholders and employees.

An EBA Party is used to kickstart migration and modernization projects that have stalled. It is possible to scale an EBA to capture many applications in the scope but only by making the EBA self-supporting. Here is how Financial Services Institutions (FSI) are accomplishing EBA self-sufficiency.

Pre-EBA Assessing Readiness
The AWS workstream lead will be responsible for coordinating the efforts of supporting services and application teams in order to ensure a smooth transition from development to production. This collaborative practice breaks down the traditional operating model and integrates the former silos into the application teams. Working together, the domain experts, such as security, can quickly identify any roadblocks the application may encounter on its journey to production. The workstream lead will also be tasked with assigning owners and resolvers to these issues, as well as creating tickets to document them. By leveraging the collective expertise of domain experts and application teams, the AWS workstream lead is able to ensure that any potential problems are resolved quickly and efficiently. Goals for the EBA are set with agreement from all parties and then the EBA commences.

Day 1
The first day of an EBA is critical in accelerating the application process through the development cycle. In an EBA we have the support of the customer senior leaders to ensure that the development team can focus on their EBA goals without any other distractions. The AWS Workstream Lead will present the status at the first of two daily standups and share the daily sprint goals and any blockers identified. Cross functional teams are aligned with solving these challenges. By having those empowered to resolve ticketed requests sat with the application teams, the progress is accelerated, and “Months turn into minutes”. This will then be followed by the second daily standup at the end of the day, where a Product Owner, from the customer, is identified to lead the subsequent standups.

Day 2
On the second day, we start shifting the team alignment to a Product Operating Model. This provides the flexibility to strategically shift resources to the most relevant areas, allowing for a more agile, efficient, and cost-effective deployment of resources. The EBA gives customers the opportunity to experience the power of the Product Operating Model firsthand. With the ability to adjust and add resources as needed, as well as a flexible two-way door approach, organizations can now view their potential future state outside of the EBA.

Progress stops being done in isolation and instead becomes a collective effort. As one team succeeds in a technical integration, the knowledge gained can quickly spread throughout the EBA. This helps to eliminate the need to relearn lessons, as everyone within the EBA can now benefit from the breakthrough. The introduction of the Hive model has enabled EBA to remain self-sustaining, while scaling up to meet the growing business needs. With this model, developers are able to share their technical knowledge with others, allowing the whole team to benefit from the progress made. By working together, teams can more effectively utilize new technologies and create greater value for the business.

Day 3
The final day is about exceeding goals and reaching stretch goals. The teams also get the chance to showcase their accomplishments to an executive audience at the demonstrations. At the closing of one EBA, a senior leader questioned, “How do we prevent ourselves from going back to how we were three days ago?”

Financial Services Institutions may be concerned about the speed of change due to the need for regulatory compliance and separation of duties. But the Experience Based Accelerator (EBA) can help bridge the gap between business goals and technology solutions. It realigns organizations to set them up for success, while empowering teams to work at an accelerated pace within a regulated environment.

The EBA offers a unique way to challenge preconceived notions and accomplish more with fewer resources. AWS provides a range of services to help organizations get the most out of their EBA implementation. By leveraging the power of AWS and the EBA, Financial Services Institutions can gain the agility and speed they need to stay competitive in today’s digital economy. With the help of the EBA, organizations can gain the flexibility to quickly respond to new business opportunities, while ensuring the security of data and compliance with regulations.

If your organization needs a kick start or a re-start, the EBA is the perfect mechanism and can deliver more value in a regulated environment. Use the EBA to challenge preconceived notions and accomplish more.

Andrew Kay

Andrew Kay

Andrew Kay is a Sr. Customer Solutions Manager in the North East helping FSI institutions navigate their cloud maturity journey. Previously the creator of EBAs for Global Technology Infrastructure at JPMC. Andrew is currently resisting the temptation of bringing a dog into the family for fear of being demoted, again, In the hierarchy of importance in his home.

Matthew Matro

Matthew Matro

Matthew Matro is a Leader for the Customer Solutions organization in US-East supporting the Mid/Large customer segment. In addition to leading a team of CSMs, Matt leads the Experience Based Acceleration efforts for the North East. Beyond his work guiding AWS customers on their cloud journeys, Matt likes to pretend like he is good at cooking and subjects his family to strange meals that have a 50% chance of being edible.