BLOG: TSAM 2014 - Two ingredients for a stronger Business Case for the Data Management initiative

    I was attending the TSAM Europe conference in London last week, one of the largest buy side technology event in Europe. Among the different streams of sessions, the Data Management stream was addressing the most recent data challenges in the asset management and asset servicing areas.

    While regulatory data was the main topic of the stream — with three dedicated sessions — interestingly, these sessions had a limited audience compared to data governance, Chief Data Officer and IBOR sessions which had amongst the largest crowds.

    On the topic of regulations, my take aways:

    • Data managers are begging for improved insight on the upcoming regulations impacting them across the topics and geographies
    • This insight is necessary for them to stop drowning under tactical projects addressing specific regulations, and start thinking strategically instead, thinking capability and longer term.

    However, like I heard in one panel:

    it's not anymore just about regulations. It's now about servicing clients and risk, not only regulatory.

    The business case for investment is still a core concern of most Data Managers: How to get budgets and IT resources for their strategic data initiative when larger compliance programs or automation programs are higher in the radar?

    The issue is that the COO or the Projects Committee must take hard  decisions to judge with the elements at hand if a project is a firm's top priority for the upcoming period. And the business case for investment for a data management platform is often not compelling enough to remain on top of the radar.

    Receipt: Business outcomes and fast return

    Since the last years, more and more data managers coming to us requesting for assistance in building a stronger business case for their steering or management.

    To increase its chances of success, the business case requires two ingredients:

    1. Business outcomes: The project's outcomes must be expressed in business terms, and aligned with the top priorities of your COO or firm
    2. Return on investment in 12 months or less, particularly if the project is not regulatory driven or strategic client.

    Data managers are often struggling fulfilling these two requirements when it is about investing in an EDM platform, a tool often seen as technical tool with limited business outcomes and returns beyond expectations as often more than rarely, projects turns into lengthy.

    At AIM Software, we believe it is right now absolutely necessary to move beyond this classical approach, beyond EDM, in order to enable strategic data initiatives to pass the budget committees.

    This is the reason why we believe two evolutions are required:

    • Deliver immediate business value with an agile step-by-step approach, rather than lengthy risky projects
    • Business applications maintained by the vendor, instead of  custom applications built on top of a data management tool, often expensive to maintain and complicated to upgrade in a time where buy versus build is questioned for initiatives evaluated as not business strategic.

    If you want to know more about these business applications, have a look at our Products sections, or in the Success Stories section to see how some leading institutions benefit from them.

    Author: Olivier Kenji Mathurin is Head of Product Marketing at AIM Software and leads the AIM Research Lab to investigate the industry trends and create the future of data for the financial institutions.

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