Business Architecture is building “a blueprint” of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organisation and align strategic objectives and tactical demands. Business Analysis is the discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a software-systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organisational change or strategic planning and policy development.
In the last couple of years, a major IT innovation known as blockchain technology has come to the attention of the IT fraternity as a potentially disruptive technology. This is viewed as a technology that can change the current landscape of the capital market eco system.
Previously, the focus was mainly on the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. However, in the recent past, the path has shifted more towards the main elements of blockchain itself and its features as a distributed ledger for transactions. Currently, most institutions and several start-ups in the financial sector are innovating to provide both new products and services, and to improve existing ones using blockchain.
The most significant potential benefit of blockchain is that it could eliminate inefficiencies in existing markets by reducing transaction times, lowering costs and increasing transparency. Blockchain is viewed as a single “golden record” for a transaction, eliminating the need for multiple records in different formats at various points within the trade lifecycle and mitigating the risk of error due to human intervention. There is immense potential for it to introduce efficiencies in the post-trade arena, where settlement consumes at least T+2 days post-trading, while trading happens in micro seconds.
The core of this innovation is developed around the concept of a distributed ledger, where the ledger is kept and maintained on a distributed network of computers. This is a simple yet ground-breaking innovation and that is the reason why so many people, both with financial and technological backgrounds, are so enthusiastic about this technology and its applicability across sectors. Bill Gates has called it “a technological tour de force”, and Bob Greifeld, CEO of NASDAQ, called blockchain “the biggest opportunity set we can think of over the next decade or so”.
In this paper we will concentrate on blockchain and its applicability in the capital market domain, with a major focus on post-trade where it is seen as being implemented first, and the challenges of testing this application.
The new EU data protection regulation will come into force in two years’ time. It has far-reaching consequences for any organisation dealing with personal data of EU citizens and is impacting IT operations in particular. IT leaders should proactively engage in privacy pro-grams and live up to the challenge of transforming their business and taking data protection to the next level.
Better requirements and functional specifications as well as early detection of errors and quality issues (shift-left) within IT projects have been vital topics in literature and in practice for decades.
The approach presented in this paper will put a business analyst into a position to identify logical gaps in specifications, fill them with assumptions, indicate the assumptions closing the gaps and discuss them with the process owners. The designed processes will give a clear picture of requirements and projected solutions and the implementation effort. We call this technique process modelling & simulation.
Simulation means we are working with a model of a solution, not with its implementation. Simulations will create a virtual environment to verify whether designed business and system processes contribute to the company’s business success. A successful simulation bears comparison with a successful execution of a digital process. This digital process is also the base to fully automated test execution.
The evaluation of commercial benefits is part of portfolio and project management on a very high level (see demand level). It should be part of business analysis and design (see requirements level focused on in this paper) and is finally evident in user acceptance testing and in production itself (see system level). Evaluation in the acceptance phase of IT development is important for creating confidence; with poor quality there are losses of benefits planned or high costs for reworking and loss of time-to-market. Simulation will accelerate time-to-market with up to 90 % effort reductions in maintenance in the worst case.
The approach will be illustrated on the basis of two project types – implementation of packaged software and Agile & DevOps software development.