Robert Dutile, group manager and senior vice president of the Enterprise Architecture Group at KeyCorp, Cleveland, Ohio, recently described the activities of the IT organization at the $87 billion bank.
The Enterprise Architecture Group, or EAG, has three main missions: IT strategy and planning, enterprise architecture, and R&D.
Increasingly, IT strategy and planning plays an important role for the various business units within the bank. The EAG conducts research into trends, hosts strategy sessions with various lines of business (LOBs), and comes up with a rolling 18-month quarterly forecast that it publishes for bank management.
"We are now linking the IT strategy so that it runs right along the six-month strategic planning calendar with the lines of business," said Dutile. "We're working interactively with the lines of business to say what's changing, what's the map, and where are we going."
With this information in hand, the EAG then creates a blueprint of how to reach its strategic goals. "We coordinate the work of a number of people with the budgetary and authoritative control of whole sections of technology, and we move forward with getting them to our target environment," said Dutile.
For example, the group recently settled upon a new application development platform, Java J2E Websphere, on which it has embarked upon approximately 30 projects.
The task of selecting Websphere as the bank's development environment fell to the R&D group. "We have a small 'Advanced Development' group that's responsible for coordinating technology R&D efforts," said Dutile, who manages a team comprised of mostly outside consultants.
Dutile measures the success of R&D by asking a key question: "Are we progressing, learning what we want to learn and understanding what we want to do from those efforts?" he said. "The only way we can provide the level of reliability, availability and trust we need as a financial institution while making progress on new technologies is to be able to investigate it ourselves."
"New technologies don't automatically get scaled to a million and a half banking customers," he added.