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July 2013

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Q&A: Project Portfolio Management Can Help Financial Services Firms Succeed

As executives in financial services organizations across the globe face intense regulatory scrutiny, the project management office is playing a more crucial role in maintaining agility and strategic project planning, according to a new Oracle white paper, “The PMO—The Key to Surviving Financial Services Reregulation.”

Mike Metcalf, Oracle’s strategy director for services, says the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solutions and a central project management office can help financial services firms become less reactive and better equipped to deal with regulatory challenges.

Q: What problems are financial services organizations facing in the aftermath of the financial crisis?
A: Legislators in various countries have decided to tighten up regulations after a period when some rules were being loosened. So for financial services organizations, the challenge today is how to survive in an era of reregulation. The first obstacle they face is that new regulations may span different areas of banking operations, so some regulations may overlap and conflict with each other. Organizations must be sure that responding to one regulation doesn’t impact some other area.

Second, many organizations address these regulations in silos—different parts of the organization are responding to regulations independently, and they are tracking compliance with ad hoc tools, such as spreadsheets. This leads to increased risk because these tools are not conducive to collaboration or to creating a centralized view of all the regulations that need to be addressed.

Q: What’s the alternative to these ad hoc tools?
A: Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack, part of our project portfolio management suite of applications, is particularly well suited to helping financial services companies with process-improvement projects. It is easy to use and available as a cloud-based software-as-a-service solution, so organizations can deploy it very quickly and see benefits almost immediately.

Q: Is it also important for financial services firms to create a centralized project management office?
A: Yes. If you can’t provide visibility, notification, collaboration, and tracking across different banking operations, then there’s the potential for some area to miss a deadline or other requirement related to compliance.

Q: How does Instantis EnterpriseTrack help organizations grapple with this challenge?
A: It provides a single view of the entire breadth of regulations that need to be addressed. Having that visibility enables organizations to understand the complete set of portfolio changes that must be accomplished, including all the various deadlines and milestones that must be met. And because Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack creates an environment for collaboration, all the different functions that are required to make changes can work from a consistent and coordinated set of plans. All the dependencies between the different functions are clearly visible and understandable.

Learn more about how financial services firms can survive in the reregulation environment. Download the white paper, “The PMO—The Key to Surviving Financial Services Reregulation.”

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