ING Bank Turkey is one of the country’s leading financial institutions, offering a wide range of products and services to individual and corporate customers in the areas of banking and investment services. This regional subsidiary of the Netherlands-based ING Group has significant potential for growth, given the rapidly growing economy and consumer appetite for financial services. However, to capitalise on this opportunity, ING Bank Turkey needs to squeeze more from existing resources, ensure customers receive responsive, rewarding services and adhere to ever-tighter regulatory controls.
The bank are continually looking at ways to align IT with the business and meet ever more stringent directives from the business surrounding data availability and security. Halit Ayyilmaz, VP of Data Center and System Operations, picks up the story. “We were facing pressure on two fronts,” he says. “The first was to accelerate and streamline the IT processing around our start-of-day and end-of-day -the approach we used was manual and labour-intensive. The second was to automate disaster recovery processes, making it easier to ensure business continuity across the bank’s growing and increasingly complex environments.”
Optimising start and end-of-day processes was the primary catalyst for change. ING Bank Turkey relied on time-based job scheduling, scripts and manual operations to manage IT workloads across its core banking applications, credit card handling, consumer credit, and other back office processes. This cumbersome approach was also used to process recurring jobs. For example, if a customer took out a loan in a branch in Ankara, they would receive an SMS message or email immediately after, confirming the transaction and thanking them for the business. Thousands of jobs like these – whether they occurred every few seconds or every few hours – all needed to be processed daily.
This manual approach to start/end-of-day processing undermined the ability for IT to align tightly with the business and meet SLAs. Moreover, IT operations having limited visibility meant problems were difficult to pinpoint and troubleshoot. “Previously, we had 15 systems administrators completing up to 1,000 overnight and recurring jobs, equivalent to 18 million executions every month. They had to wade through 30 pages of manual instructions,” explains Ayyilmaz.
Similar to any financial institution, disaster recovery (DR), data protection and accessibility were also critical tasks for the bank. ING Bank Turkey’s aim was to implement DR more efficiently, cutting the mean time to recovery (MTTR) across its growing and increasingly complex Linux, Windows and Solaris environments. “There were so many manual tasks involved, that recovery time seemed to take forever. We needed to automate the DR process,” says Hakan İnceoğlu, Senior VP of Technology.
By standardising on ONE Automation, ING Bank Turkey has complete visibility and control over its business workloads. The IT Operations team gets the flexibility it needs to manage complex dependencies, quickly create new processes and synchronise file transfers with CA Automic Workload Automation. It all adds up to ING Bank Turkey achieving faster, more reliable and more scalable processing, for both the start/end-of-day processing and DR testing. Those 30 pages of manual instructions have been replaced by one straightforward fully automated CA Automic solution.
The results have been dramatic. In terms of the start/end- of- day processes, CA Automic Workload Automation enables the bank to process 10 times as many jobs in the same time frame – 10,000 versus 1,000 previously. The number of system administrators involved in the process has been reduced by more than 20 percent. Moreover, the entire process is almost error-free. “Before we used to react to problems as they occurred, now we can proactively monitor jobs as they are running jobs [sic] and creates alerts to notify us if a job execution exceeds a predetermined threshold value.” says Ayyilmaz.
It doesn’t stop there. New hires in IT Operations can be productive using CA Automic Workload Automation very quickly. “The interface is so intuitive, the operators can manage the start and end-of-day process – plus monitor all other activities – with very little training. All of this enables ING Bank Turkey to redeploy resources to other, more strategic tasks,” explains İnceoğlu. Moreover, the IT operations team can quickly generate analytical reports concerning run time, start time, end time, duration and more, in support of continuous workflow improvement.
According to Ayyilmaz, the results of the DR testing process have been dramatic. For example, 90 percent of all switchover tasks are now automated. “During a recent test, we switched the core banking system to the DR site in 80 minutes, and next day returned it to the primary data centre site in 40 minutes. Previously, using the manual method, that would have taken four times longer. We have shrunk the MTTR and delivered an almost error-free DR process,” he says.
He concludes, “Automating the bank’s manual processes and complex manual decisions has had a transformative impact on ING Bank Turkey. The business is now leaner, more agile and positioned to meet every compliance objective.”