It pays to invest in risk, AIB says

6 Oct 2009

AIB has claimed to have made significant reductions in operating costs and was able to redeploy a number of IT staff by investing in IT risk and compliance technologies.

The company recently invested in technology from BMC Software to support its new IT service-management processing model.

Matt Fletcher, head of IT service management, said the investment in managing a risk and compliance strategy resulted in significant savings and the bank was able to redeploy a number of IT staff by installing these tools to automate new processes.

“The main objective is, if we improve the process we significantly reduce the cost of running IT and improve our service proposition. It’s about treating IT as a business. The automation tools enhance that,” Fletcher said at a recent seminar hosted by Avnet Client Solutions, a BMC Software Elite Partner.

Fletcher said that in economically troubled times, having such a strategy can give companies a sharper, more competitive edge and is a value-added approach for medium-sized to large corporations.

Pat Moran, senior partner at Ernst & Young, said IT compliance can produce better results, streamline operations and save money.

“IT people need to represent themselves better in the business arena. Examples of that would be working with the business people and finding what’s important for them. Measuring how effective IT is for business, getting metrics and discovering how IT can make a difference to help the business go forward.”

Recent cases involving well-publicised incidents, such as the phishing attacks on Irish banks, have only highlighted the need for companies to protect themselves from embarrassing, and ultimately financially and reputation-damaging incidents.

Declan Ivory, general manager of Eircom net, emphasised that compliance is a critical issue for many of Eircom’s hosting and managed IT services customers. He reflected on the issues Eircom faces as a major service provider in this area.

“We have to manage a wide range of IT risk and compliance requirements, ensuring that our own systems and processes are aligned with those of our customers. We are actively using automation technology to ensure that we support all of our customers’ compliance requirements,” Ivory said.

Robert Barrett of Avnet Client Solutions presented a guide on setting up a risk and compliance strategy and looked at some real-world examples of it in action.

“The crux of the message here is managing planned and unplanned change coherently. Unplanned change (whether intentional or unintentional, malicious or not) was once difficult to identify and remediate, but the solutions out there now are very highly integrated and centralised and help to bring unplanned change into a managed environment,” said Barrett.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Pat Moran, senior partner at Ernst & Young.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years