Governance at the speed of change

Advance IT transformation with the use of the right tools

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In the time it takes you to read this sentence, millions of payment transactions will have occurred.

Speed, throughput and decision accuracy are everything in the payment industry. The typical payment transaction authorizes within 50 milliseconds. This means that shifting customer demographics and new payment products and channels -- mobile devices, among others -- create significant challenges for the IT organizations at major payment networks such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Unfortunately, the large legacy of IT infrastructure and networks stands as a potentially immovable object before the bullet train of ever-changing customer needs. A transformational business model is required to service customer requests consistently in their channels of choice.

The main goal of IT governance at payment networks is to provide this transformational capability. In other words, the IT governance approach codifies and communicates how IT will leverage existing best practices, reduce complexity and improve availability, quality and resiliency. All this must happen while moving towards a highly available and adaptable end-to-end architecture. This would all take place, ideally, in a globally integrated, cross-channel experience.

But achieving this isn't easy. Most applications and underlying technologies in the payments industry have been developed and evolved over the past two decades. Many firms do not have the luxury of throwing away years of investments and potentially disrupting the business to start from scratch. Instead, architects must transform IT in increments while keeping the focus on long-term architectural transformation and a maniacal focus on execution.

Therefore, an effective transformation plan needs to encompass all aspects of architectural best practice, including methods, processes, talent development, tools, quality measurement systems and architecture value management.

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