Skip directly to search

Skip directly to content

 

How to Tackle Legacy – Breaking Down Walls Between Change and Run

 
 

Banking | Ian Kelly |
19 May 2022

In many financial firms, there is a clear distinction made between “Change the Bank” (CTB) and “Run the Bank” (RTB) investment. CTB is generally taken to mean the costs associated with building new systems and subsequently making significant changes to them, whereas RTB usually means the operating costs associated with existing systems.

This distinction has often given rise to separate “Change” and “Run” organisations with their own sub-cultures and ways of working, which makes it harder to tackle the challenges of legacy systems. How did we get here?

Some of the factors that have driven separation are:

Segregation of duties. Financial firms have segregation of duties between front-office and back-office functions, which is designed to improve accountability and control as well as reduce the risk of fraud. Similar concepts are often applied to prevent developers from directly making changes to production systems.

Perceived differences in skillset and cost profile. The skills that are required to run systems are often perceived as being more commoditised and therefore cheaper than the skills required to build and change systems. This tends to lead to Change and Run being viewed as different animals.

Offshoring. It is often perceived to be easier to outsource support and maintenance to lower-cost and geographically remote third parties and therefore realise cost savings. This can literally create separate organisations for Change and Run.

The “Built Once” fallacy. There is a persistent misconception that systems are “built once” and then go into “support and maintenance” for the rest of their operational lives. Again, this reinforces the idea that Change and Run are two different things.

Budgeting. Organisations often build separate budgets for CTB and RTB. There is a popular view that change is discretionary and, conversely, that RTB is mandatory. This tends to incentivise the over-estimation of RTB costs and under-estimation of CTB costs, as well as reinforcing the separation of Change and Run.

So, what can be done to break down these walls? Fortunately, there are some key trends that can help:

Agile adoption. Many organisations have adopted agile ways of working, particularly in delivering technology-dependent projects. While there are different methods, a fundamental theme is to build multi-skilled, cross-functional teams and empower them to solve problems end to end, from idea to production. Such teams often cut across organisational boundaries and can help break down silos.

The rise of DevOps. Cultural change born out of the recognition that delivery of software from idea to production requires integrated pipelines and processes with minimal friction. Organisational barriers increase friction significantly, so segregated organisations are counter-cultural to DevOps.

Evergreen thinking. The increasing recognition that systems are not “built once” but continually evolving to meet changing business requirements. This has given rise to concepts such as “evergreen architecture” – it needs to be refreshed and kept current throughout its life.

Tooling and automation. Vast improvements in tooling mean that Continuous Delivery has become an everyday reality, particularly in large-scale commercial cloud environments, where quality and repeatability can be easily built into pipelines without relying on expensive and ineffective manual checks and processes. This enables the “safety” of segregation of duties without the cost and friction.

Focus on total cost of ownership (TCO). Makes it easier to see costs across Change and Run and better understand their drivers, e.g. high defect rates that result in increased operational costs due to manual workarounds. To get a true view of your TCO, you need to look across the whole lifecycle.

What can you do in your own organisation? Here are some practical steps that you can take to help break down walls between Change and Run.

1. Understand your path to production. Identify the different parts of your organisation that are required to get from idea to production and get them involved.

2. Empower your teams. Establish multi-skilled teams and empower them to solve problems across organisational boundaries. Don’t try and re-organise everyone overnight – start somewhere meaningful, prove it can be done and build up from there.

3. Remove constraints. Where is the organisational friction in getting from idea to production? Are governance forums effective, e.g. in reviewing hundreds of changes? Can testing be automated?

4. Understand the cost drivers. Work out your TCO and understand its drivers to help you optimise costs overall, rather than simply cost-cutting on a localised basis.

5. Learn from others. Endava has over 20 years’ experience of delivering mission-critical software systems for our clients. We provide thought leadership and multi-skilled agile teams that can deliver technology solutions to business problems in a cost-effective way with all the capabilities required. We have extensive experience with evergreen architectures, automation and DevOps, making Continuous Delivery a reality.

In conclusion, there are many factors that have given rise to the separation of Change and Run in many organisations. While this separation is not easy to overcome, the evolution of architectural and DevOps thinking as well as the adoption of agile and modern software engineering tools and practices are making it more straightforward to adopt true idea-to-production approaches to building and operating systems. This creates an environment in which it is easier to break down walls between Change and Run and address legacy systems issues.

Ian Kelly

Delivery Director

Ian is a Delivery Director at Endava, working with our clients to deliver successful technology-enabled business outcomes in the Financial Services sector. He has spent the last 25+ years in the technology space in changing roles and is passionate about solving problems. When he’s not running delivery, Ian is often running – 10k and half-marathon are his favourite distances.

 

Related Articles

  • 11 October 2022

    Buy vs. Build in Banking: Which Option is Right for You?

  • 23 August 2022

    5 Ways to Fix Your Data Spine in Banking

  • 31 August 2021

    Personalised Banking: How to Get Ahead of Ever-Changing Client Value Propositions

  • 13 July 2021

    The Transformation Trifecta: Cloud, Digital and Open Banking

  • 05 May 2021

    Artificial Intelligence: Where Does The Real Value Lie?

 

From This Author

  • 08 October 2019

    How do you rate as a Business Sponsor?

  • 18 February 2019

    Programmes Can’t Be Agile, Right?

Most Popular Articles

How Reverse Logistics are Turning Ecommerce Green
 

Innovation | Bogdan Tindeche | 29 November 2022

How Reverse Logistics are Turning Ecommerce Green

5 Things We Learned at World Aviation Festival 2022
 

Mobility | Vojin Rakonjac | 23 November 2022

5 Things We Learned at World Aviation Festival 2022

Cyber Security Incidents in Australia Highlight the Need for a Balance Between Risk and Innovation
 

Payments | David Marsh | 23 November 2022

Cyber Security Incidents in Australia Highlight the Need for a Balance Between Risk and Innovation

The Era of Ecosystems and the Rise of Open Insurance
 

Insurance Insights | Robert Anderson | 22 November 2022

The Era of Ecosystems and the Rise of Open Insurance

How Tech is Changing Sports Betting for the Better
 

Innovation | Andy Davies | 18 November 2022

How Tech is Changing Sports Betting for the Better

4 Ways Insurers Can Leverage Technology to Differentiate Themselves
 

Insurance Insights | Robert Anderson | 16 November 2022

4 Ways Insurers Can Leverage Technology to Differentiate Themselves

The future of banking in the Nordics – being digital and personal
 

Banking | Francis Hellawell | 16 November 2022

The future of banking in the Nordics – being digital and personal

Staying relevant in the buoyant cross-border payments market
 

Payments | Peter Theunis | 15 November 2022

Staying relevant in the buoyant cross-border payments market

3 Experts’ Insights on the Complicated Relationship Between Fintechs and Banks
 

Banking | Zoya Lieberman, CTP | 15 November 2022

3 Experts’ Insights on the Complicated Relationship Between Fintechs and Banks

 

Archive

  • 29 November 2022

    How Reverse Logistics are Turning Ecommerce Green

  • 23 November 2022

    5 Things We Learned at World Aviation Festival 2022

  • 23 November 2022

    Cyber Security Incidents in Australia Highlight the Need for a Balance Between Risk and Innovation

  • 22 November 2022

    The Era of Ecosystems and the Rise of Open Insurance

  • 18 November 2022

    How Tech is Changing Sports Betting for the Better

  • 16 November 2022

    4 Ways Insurers Can Leverage Technology to Differentiate Themselves

  • 16 November 2022

    The future of banking in the Nordics – being digital and personal

  • 15 November 2022

    Staying relevant in the buoyant cross-border payments market

  • 15 November 2022

    3 Experts’ Insights on the Complicated Relationship Between Fintechs and Banks

  • 09 November 2022

    How Can Banks Create a Secure, Optimised Cloud-Enabled Architecture?

  • 08 November 2022

    Tech is Good for You: How Wearable Edge Devices Changed Healthcare

  • 01 November 2022

    How Microservices Can Upgrade the Customer Experience

  • 25 October 2022

    How Technology Can Help Monitor the Circular Economy

  • 18 October 2022

    Why it’s time for banks to let go of legacy IT

  • 11 October 2022

    Buy vs. Build in Banking: Which Option is Right for You?

  • 04 October 2022

    The Rise of Super Apps: How Banks Can Compete

  • 27 September 2022

    AI Art in Game Production – an XDS 2022 Table Discussion

  • 20 September 2022

    Payments Data Monetisation is Key to Driving Sustainable Growth

  • 13 September 2022

    Navigating the Healthcare Ecosystem

  • 30 August 2022

    hey y’all! I’m Ashley Grant

  • 23 August 2022

    5 Ways to Fix Your Data Spine in Banking

  • 16 August 2022

    De-risking Digitalisation

  • 09 August 2022

    hi, I’m Brian Estep

  • 02 August 2022

    hey! I’m Lia Rollman

  • 19 July 2022

    The New Ways of Issuing Cards

  • 12 July 2022

    Scores on the Door: Rating Autonomous Vehicles

  • 06 July 2022

    Data-Driven Impact: Don’t Settle for Less

  • 06 July 2022

    We’re in Nottingham – a Q&A on Endava’s New Delivery Centre in the UK

  • 05 July 2022

    hey, I’m Chris Hart

  • 28 June 2022

    Platforms: a Blessing or a Curse?

  • 23 June 2022

    A Payments View on Marketplaces – How to Be(come) Successful

  • 21 June 2022

    Intelligent Commercial Underwriting

  • 14 June 2022

    The Future of Supply Chain: What’s Next?

  • 31 May 2022

    The Future of Autonomous Vehicles in T&L

  • 26 May 2022

    hello! I’m Hannah McCarthy

  • 24 May 2022

    Going Native: Why Cloud-Native Services are Essential

  • 19 May 2022

    How to Tackle Legacy – Breaking Down Walls Between Change and Run

  • 17 May 2022

    Advantages of a Yard Management System

  • 12 May 2022

    Are Phones About to Become the New POS Terminals?

  • 10 May 2022

    The Digital Economy is an Upgrade of Smart Cities and Communities

  • 05 May 2022

    hello! I’m Sumita Davé

  • 03 May 2022

    Physical Automation in the T&L Industry

  • 28 April 2022

    zdravo! I’m Andrej Kotar

  • 26 April 2022

    Open Banking in the US

  • 20 April 2022

    hello! I’m Paul Maguire

  • 19 April 2022

    Digital Automation in the T&L Industry

  • 12 April 2022

    How Do Banks Embrace Embedded Finance – Have the Fintechs Already Won?

  • 06 April 2022

    ESG Data Architecture is a Business Imperative – How to Get Started

  • 05 April 2022

    hi! I am Roy Murphy

  • 05 April 2022

    Modernizing the Shipping and Cargo Process

  • 30 March 2022

    The Metaverse Evolution and Learning from the Games Industry

  • 29 March 2022

    Do Androids Dream of Trading Electric Sheep for Digital Wood? An Introduction to Automated Game Design

  • 23 March 2022

    Real-Time Payments in Australia – Why Corporates Should Get on Board

  • 22 March 2022

    Current Challenges in the Transportation & Logistics Industry

  • 16 March 2022

    bok! I’m Sanja Cvetkovic

  • 15 March 2022

    Rapidly Transforming: Healthtech Trends in 2022

  • 08 March 2022

    How to Digitize Warehouses and Distribution Centers

  • 01 March 2022

    Top Challenges in Warehouse and Distribution Centers

  • 28 February 2022

    Tackling CIB Legacy at its Core

  • 23 February 2022

    salut! I am Isabela Buhai

  • 22 February 2022

    4 Buy Now Pay Later Trends Set to Disrupt the Industry

  • 15 February 2022

    salut! I’m Natalia Ciobanu

  • 14 February 2022

    Product-Led Innovation – a Q&A with Joe Dunleavy

  • 01 February 2022

    Buy Now Pay Later: Will Regulation Burst the Bubble?

  • 31 January 2022

    Innovation Will Spur Ireland’s Race to the Top

  • 28 January 2022

    The Value of Digital and Automation in the Product Returns Process

  • 26 January 2022

    Virtually Disrupted? Keeping Pace with Accelerating Customer Expectations

  • 19 January 2022

    The 3 Big Ps in Modern Insurance: Personalisation, Prediction and Prevention

  • 18 January 2022

    An Introduction to Mobility as a Service in the US

  • 12 January 2022

    Buy or Build? A Game-Changing Question in Insurance

  • 12 January 2022

    hello! I’m Paul Willoughby

  • 11 January 2022

    Payment Service Providers 2.0

  • $name

We are listening

How would you rate your experience with Endava so far?

We would appreciate talking to you about your feedback. Could you share with us your contact details?