IBM helps major financial institution re-engineer its IT architecture to improve operational performance and flexibility.
IBM proposed a distributed IT architecture solution for this major U.S. financial services company, designed to help speed up transaction throughput to meet stringent peak processing and disaster recovery requirements.
In the financial services sector, payment transaction processing operates under severe time and regulatory constraints. Many payment process programs must typically be completed within seconds — and the Federal Reserve imposes stringent disaster recovery requirements as well. With those pressures in mind, the client sought assistance from IBM to identify ways to improve electronic transaction capacity and speed.
IBM Research and IBM Global Business Services (GBS) worked together through IBM Research Services to conduct a thorough assessment of the client’s transaction processing code. The IBM Research Services team recommended a fully integrated end-to-end solution built around long-term rewrite, using current database technologies with data grouping to replace complex and insufficiently documented legacy code. The recommendation is intended to improve transaction processing times helping the client meet peak processing requirements, while providing the flexibility to accommodate the client’s plans for strategic volume growth.
What IBM did
The client processes a high volume of payments on a mainframe-based application suite. Over time, as the number of payment transactions had increased, various methods were employed to improve processing speed, yet the client was looking for more ways to improve its efficiency.
To better understand the client’s operational issues, the IBM Research Services team conducted a three-month study to investigate scalable distributed techniques for redesigning the client’s payments system. Because parts of the structure required sequential processing of individual transactions to manage credit exposure, IBM recommended modifying the entire process to use distributed techniques that could help speed up transaction throughput and reduce the time window required. To comply with disaster recovery requirements, IBM recommended improved buffered connection solutions. To architect and design the long-term solution, all long-term requirements were collected; a detailed understanding of the existing code was developed using new tools being developed by IBM Research; and data feeds were analyzed and documented.
IBM Research is currently investigating a technique to distribute the payment transaction processing, thus improving throughput and boosting capacity. The proposed architecture will help lay the groundwork for a new hardware and software independent system that will be scalable to the client's expanding requirements.
IBM’s extensive experience and expertise in legacy systems and IT architecture provided the client with an end-to-end solution aimed at helping the financial institution improve transaction processing times while minimizing the need to invest in new hardware or software. In addition, the solution offers the client additional flexibility in scaling to accommodate future needs.