Infotech Consulting Services | Bank Alfalah streamlines Data Center and prepares for rapid growth with InfoTech solution
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Bank Alfalah is one of the largest banks in Pakistan with over 500 branches. Long a leader in retail banking it is the largest acquirer and issuer of credit cards in Pakistan. Rated by Nilson report as one of the top merchant acquiring companies in the Middle East Africa region, its innovative banking service model is underpinned by heavy investments in information technology. IFC a member of the World Bank group owns 15% of the Bank Alfalah.

BAF had invested heavily in IT to take the lead in strategic retail banking segments. However most of the hardware investment was now reaching lifecycle maturity. The IT environment reflecting an aggressively growing bank, was heterogeneous and spread. Applications were running in separate server stacks. Server sprawl was becoming operationally challenging to manage and power consumption was extremely high. Consequentially the critical end of day banking cycle was becoming slower and delayed.

Putting actual business workflows and bank’s business plans at the center InfoTech worked backwards to recommend a cloud enabled hardware roadmap that allowed for optimized operation and rapid scaling of bank’s application infrastructure. Anticipating the robustness of consumer services to be launched and management of the resulting data, the roadmap included a powerful complementing enterprise storage strategy. Additionally to minimize the go to market of new services, which InfoTech consultants felt was a critical competitive advantage in a crowded retail banking landscape, a blade server environment for testing & development was created.

A switch to virtualized industry leading Power based IBM servers and storage resulted in a stunning elimination of over 90% of server sprawl. Savings post project were estimated to be 50% on Opex and even more on Capex as increased efficiency brought down the server budget considerably. Operations became dramatically simplified as workload was consolidated and managed with a centralized dashboard. Information technology dovetailed seamlessly with business workflows to make delays attributed to IT from business users non existent. Critically the IT team could now focus on value adding activities instead of devoting all their time to “keeping the lights on”.

InfoTech was selected because of its decades of systems integration experience in complex projects, unique qualified resources and deep banking expertise. Risk management and risk mitigation were critical for a bank serving millions of customers and that comfort level was provided because of specific core banking and systems expertise InfoTech possessed. InfoTech also had world class best practice methodologies for migration needed for implementing this project. Above all InfoTech’s ability to build a roadmap that focused on not just IT but tied it to optimizing the bank’s business model itself was considered critical in awarding the project.