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Canadian Bank

More control and less management. Large Canadian bank improves its user data management.

The Case

One of Canada’s largest banks is devoted to a client-focused strategy that includes innovating for the future and simplifying the business. However, these very priorities were missing in the bank’s process for managing data storage. A system of controls, configured at a very granular and tactical level, was adding administrative complexity and reducing user efficiency. By partnering with Northern, the bank has gained measurable improvements through User Data Management.

As is typical for the banking and finance industry, this large Canadian bank is a policy-driven organization that already had extensive and complex data quantity and content control mechanisms in place when they reached out to Northern in 2012. Looking to replace their existing software that was inefficient and cumbersome to manage, the initial discussions revolved around technical aspects of Northern’s solution, NSS. The responsible team quickly understood that the User Data Management solution in NSS offered significant benefits that were not available in their previous data storage solution. An unexpected advantage was increased internal efficiency. With NSS management implementation they would not need to involve additional IT teams when policies needed changing or exceptions were required.

After thoroughly testing and gradually implementing NSS for control policies, the bank’s IT management realized that having a more robust solution requiring less management also meant that they could continue to roll out policies in previously uncontrolled parts of their storage environment.

Additionally, they saw the value in Northern’s broader approach to User Data Management. Northern’s methodology not only takes the control aspect into account, but also focuses on gaining insight into the user-generated data, and spreading that information internally within the bank. The first step in this process is to perform an exhaustive analysis of the data through Northern’s Discovery Analysis. This initial exploration and report has multiple benefits. At the bank in focus, the analysis confirmed the areas of concern with the bank’s user data and triggered some immediate actions for clean up and re-structuring. Furthermore, it provided justification for the project to senior management.

The bank has initiated work to integrate NSS with its IT Service Management platform, Service Now. This integration will start with straight forward work-flow incorporation so that the relevant disk quotas and file block policies are set automatically at share creation. The goal is to implement tools that give the bank complete insight and control of the employees’ data through the entire lifecycle of their employment.

A sizable part of the overall strategy for the partnership between the Canadian bank and Northern is driven by the bank’s plan to move to a cloud-based storage solution. The bank’s team discovered that Northern is one of only a few key solutions available for managing the transfer to cloud solutions. As data is moved to the cloud, the organization’s ability to track and control it is reduced, with dark data becoming darker. By partnering with Northern, the bank will have access to the tools and expertise necessary to meet these new challenges.

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About the Company

The bank in the spotlight has more than 40,000 employees and serves over 11 million clients world-wide through 1,100 branch offices.
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