IT valued as a key
business strategy

5 Dec 2005

Some 58pc of Irish businesses are now prioritising the value of IT as a key business strategy, according to iReach’s CIO Priorities 2006 survey.

The research firm points out that enhancing IT support in order to achieve overall business goals is a major concern for IT decision makers in Ireland today.

iReach cites financial services firm EBS as an example of an organisation that enhanced IT support in order to achieve business.

EBS traditionally operated exclusively through its branch network and franchised agents. With the explosive growth in the market of independent mortgage brokers – now at 40pc of the total market – EBS made a decision to target this market.

In order to facilitate a strong relationship with brokers across the country EBS had to create a compelling offering. The strategy was based on two key criteria: price (the lowest variable rate mortgage) and a service offering based on loan approval turnaround cycle of hours compared with its competitors’ cycles of two to three days.

To support this strategy EBS invested in a technology solution connecting its IT applications directly with its brokers’ own IT platforms and eliminating all manual re-keying of data.

The resulting technology project was extremely ambitious with very tight deadlines, high elements of business complexity and a technology solution based on open systems standards and service-oriented architecture.

Initially the system was deployed to brokers using the Mortgage Brain service and has since been adapted to connect to the individual custom applications of some of the country’s largest mortgage brokers. It will shortly be further extended to mortgage intermediates using the Broker CRM system.

“Our survey also uncovered that more than 70pc of all government departments view the support given to the organisation by the IT department in pursuit of overall goals as the major priority for 2006, putting them slightly ahead of traditionally hi-tech areas such as manufacturing and financial services,” said iReach analyst Diarmuid O’Connell.

By John Kennedy