Aligning Business and IT with Metadata - TheFinancial Services Way
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Financial services institutions like international banks and insurance companies frequently need to adapt to changes in their environments, yet manage risk and ensure regulatory compliance.

The author Hans Wegener reveals how metadata can be used to achieve a successful and technological evolution.

This unique approach is divided into three parts to:

Explain how metadata can be used to increase an organization's ability to adopt changesOutline the peculiarities of financial corporations and how they affect value creation and solution designPresent the practical side of effectively managing metadata and sustaining long term success

Wegener firstly illustrates the peculiarities of both metadata management and the financial services industry. He combines both, puts them into context of use, and explains where and how this makes life difficult, as well as where and how value is created. This enables the reader to understand the impact of metadata management on his/her organization, its typical side effects, necessities, and benefits.

The book then goes onto reveal how different crosscutting concerns managed in large financial corporations (change, risk, and compliance management) can revolutionize business by supporting them with metadata management. This provides a blueprint to be used in strategic planning. Finally, the mechanics of three important practical areas are discussed in-depth, namely managing evolution, quality, and sustainability. This provides helpful scripts for practitioners to be used in real-life.


Hans Wegener is a Member of Management in the Group Information & Process Architecture team at Swiss Re’s corporate headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. He has worked in the financial services industry since 1997, covering both major banking (Swiss Bank Corporation, UBS, Credit Suisse) and insurance institutions (Swiss Re). He has designed numerous metadata solutions in these companies and results of his work were published at various international conferences and workshops.


Foreword xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgements xvii

1. Introduction 1

1.1. Why this book? 1

1.2. Change, risk, and compliance 4

1.3. Objectives 8

1.4. Scope 11

1.5. Who should read this book? 13

1.6. Contents and organization 15

Part I: Changing the Way You Change 21

2. The Role of Metadata in Supporting Change 23

2.1. Overview 23

2.2. Managing change adoption: when change impact begins to bite 24

2.3. The essence of metadata: reification of data 29

2.4. The essence of metadata management: coupling processes for systematic change 37

2.5. What is ‘meta’?What isn’t? 47

3. Aligning Business and IT: the Role of Metadata, Strategy, and Architecture 49

3.1. Overview 49

3.2. Change, alignment, models, and metadata 50

3.3. Architecture: structure, compliance, and the management of portfolios 60

3.4. Supporting evolution towards and adoption of standards 62

3.5. Aligning business and IT: using a global data language 65

Part II: The Value Proposition 71

4. Improving Performance 73

4.1. Overview 73

4.2. Reducing the cost and improving the speed of change 74

4.3. From technology-neutral to company-specific viewpoints 78

4.4. Sources of substantial change and impact 79

4.5. Financial services: not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ industry 85

4.6. The big picture: a mixed bag 87

4.7. Case studies 88

5. Managing Risk 101

5.1. Overview 101

5.2. Why risk has become a concern to IT 102

5.3. Risk management in a nutshell 102

5.4. The value proposition: risk and the role of IT 108

5.5. The Role of metadata management in managing risk 110

5.6. Case studies 117

6. Ensuring Compliance 135

6.1. Overview 135

6.2. The goals and means of compliance 136

6.3. The regulatory landscape 141

6.4. IT and regulatory compliance 145

6.5. The role of metadata management in ensuring compliance 147

6.6. Case studies 149

Part III: Practical Problems and their Resolution 179

7. Evolution: A Practical Guide 181

7.1. Overview 181

7.2. The ‘management’ in metadata management 182

7.3. Metamodeling 185

7.4. The activities of structured transformation 191

7.5. Dealing with division of labor: intermediation versus direct modeling of change requests 193

7.6. Dealing with impedance: embracing versus overcoming precedent 196

7.7. Grouping changes: optimizing risk versus return 204

7.8. Organizing impact analysis 206

7.9. Change propagation 211

8. Quality: Achieving and Maintaining Valuable Metadata 213

8.1. Overview 213

8.2. Quality deficits: origins and impact 214

8.3. Intelligibility: getting a grip on language 219

8.4. Completeness: maintaining an overview of things 222

8.5. Correctness and actuality: making sure metadata reflects reality 224

8.6. Consistency: moving towards metadata reuse 226

8.7. Granularity: model and metadata working together 228

9. Sustainability: Ownership, Awareness, Understanding, and Politics 231

9.1. Overview 231

9.2. The soft side of success 232

9.3. Establishing ownership 236

9.4. Raising awareness and understanding 245

9.5. Playing politics 246

10. Parting Words: Institutionalizing Change Management 257

10.1. Converging change, risk, and compliance management 257

10.2. Elements of a corporate change function 259

10.3. Dos and don’ts 261

10.4. Wrap-up 263

Bibliography 267

Index 271