No half measures in Nottingham's IT overhaul


No half measures in Nottingham's IT overhaul

Nottingham Building Society is embarking on a major project to modernise its IT systems and offer customers online banking for the first time.

Nottingham's IT manager and a project manager will oversee 14 IT and business-led work streams over the next two years.

The business streams cover areas such as compliance, risk and auditing. The IT streams include the implementation of a new network, a storage area network and a disaster recovery centre.

The building society will also replace its central mortgage system and other key applications, and implement Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, Exchange Server 2003 and Citrix thin client software.

The project will have many challenges beyond normal "scope creep", said IT manager Jack Cutts.

"It is a very complex project. It is like trying to change a jumbo jet engine while crossing the Atlantic - I have got to keep the business going during the project," he said.

"Also, every process in the business is going to change, so we are going to have to train every one of our 500 staff."

To prepare for the IT overhaul, the building society has frozen all IT changes for three months. "This means we can go through and make sure everything is stable. That will enable us to buy some time," said Cutts.

Systems integrator Esteem is designing the IT infrastructure and will project manage the installation of servers, storage and software, as well as the migration of data.

The key driver for the change was the need to upgrade the core savings and mortgage system, which Nottingham has been using for eight years. It will be replaced with Tieto­enator Summit, which will allow the building society to offer online products and instant quotes. It will also make it easier to add and change products, said Cutts.

Nottingham will initially run the new and old systems side by side, going live in phases. The mortgage application will go live in Q3 2007, and the savings system in Q2 2008.

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This was first published in October 2006


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