The DCM Blog

How CMDB Supports Regulatory Compliance at Danske Bank

By Pekka Korpi

May 10, 2022
Danske Bank

Data Content Manager improves data quality within an organization’s CMDB, reducing manual and disparate work for data quality maintenance. This increase in data transparency and ease of data management helps companies to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance, among other benefits.

This was a primary driver behind the DCM implementation at Danske Bank A/S. Danske Bank is a multinational banking and financial services corporation. Founded in 1871 and headquartered in Copenhagen, it is the largest bank in Denmark and a major retail bank in the northern European region with 3.3 million private and business customers and more than 22000 employees.

Like many other organizations, the bank had seen challenges in implementing an effective CMDB. In a closely regulated environment, it was becoming increasingly important to find a solution to ensure that the bank’s audit and compliance obligations could be maintained. Implementation of an effective solution based around the long-established ServiceNow® platform was therefore initiated.

Craig Alexander, Senior VP of Business Services & Service Governance at Danske Bank, explained:

“It had been an ongoing discussion across the various technology functions for a long time as to how and when the CTO function would implement a CMDB. In the beginning, this was confined to a purely technical discussion, but in recent years the need to formalize such a capability was required for regulatory purposes, so this ensured additional focus in our teams and helped scope the data model initiative.”

CSDM Brings Guidance

The ServiceNow® Common Service Data Model (CSDM), is a prescriptive framework that recommends how to place service and application-related data within the CMDB. It can help organizations find a starting point for CMDB projects.

“CSDM brought sense into our initiative, gave us a structure to aim for, and made the outcomes feasible.”

Jacob Elfving, Development Manager at Danske

Without an effective CMDB, an organization’s data can end up scattered across multiple unrelated systems. At Danske Bank, whilst the data was mostly in ServiceNow®, legacy platforms still played a key role in many technology and related disciplines and therefore manual or interim correlation activity would often be required to provide the necessary datasets for specific projects.

This manual approach served immediate needs but was time-consuming and could be prone to error. Although the bank regularly undertook data clean-ups, much of this was done manually with no mature tools to identify gaps in the data.

Running the First DCM Audit

Once the CSDM was established, Danske Bank added DCM to their toolset. From initial cleanup to ongoing data maintenance, DCM is designed to provide value from day one. The team at the bank described their experience with the initial DCM audit they ran.

Jacob Elfving: “We would not previously know our data gaps as our manual processes made this almost impossible. Identifying gaps and assigning responsibilities to the respective owners was a priority. We looked at Application Services with DCM first. It was surprisingly easy, and the results were very positive.

Jacob added: “We chose core data that was managed and governed for that first run. We then applied the specific rules for that data and turned it into a DCM Blueprint. Finally, we ran an audit against it. This provided valuable clarity of our managed data, therefore allowing us to conduct ongoing data hygiene from a position of knowledge.

Expansion and Real-time Compliance

Since the first audit, the team has expanded its scope beyond Application Services. Audits now run automatically and identify deviations as they occur. Identification of gaps is straightforward and because data quality is now regularly monitored using scheduled audits, issues can be addressed immediately rather than in six-month cycles as was previously the case.

Danske Bank Branch

Fewer Mandatory Fields

Auditing data from different perspectives has also made it possible to reduce the number of mandatory fields. Danske Bank can now apply blueprints for different groups with specific requirements for the same data. For example, different blueprints are provided for the Service Portfolio and IT Risk teams who consume the data for their own needs.

Grazina Raudonyte, Head of Service Portfolio Governance shares another benefit: “We used to have around 70 mandatory fields, making things rigid. To fix one attribute, you would have to fix all of them. Consequently, we would previously spend unnecessarily long periods of time updating data.”

Incremental updates are now possible. As a result, data quality can be maintained and improved with only a handful of mandatory fields making the process more efficient and allowing the teams to focus on higher value work. Regular audits ensure that all required data exists for the different stakeholders.

Business Impact

Craig put things into perspective: ” CSDM and DCM are key aspects of our wider information model which describes top-to-bottom how the bank is constructed from a data perspective; they therefore play their role in underpinning everything we do.”

We asked Craig about the business impact that DCM has had on operations. He replied: “Having an effective data model allows us to easily link our risk management and quality assurance activities using a common framework. This helps the bank’s broader ambitions to ensure that our colleagues are more risk-aware as part of their roles and can address issues proactively.”

“CSDM and DCM are key aspects of our wider information model which describes top-to-bottom how the bank is constructed from a data perspective; they therefore play their role in underpinning everything we do.”

Craig Alexander, SVP, Business Services & Service Governance, Danske Bank

What about the Future?

With data models visualized into Blueprint and regular auditing being performed, Danske Bank is now more easily able to meet its compliance goals. As additional regulations are introduced, an effective, manageable data model aligned to the organization structure will ensure that teams have the ability to proactively manage their data with minimal manual effort and transparent reporting.

“With CSDM providing a prescriptive data model and DCM providing a view of our data in a consumable manner, we are able to drive the necessary changes across the bank in a non-obtrusive way which is seen to add value to our business, not be viewed as an operational overhead.”

Craig Alexander, SVP, Business Services & Service Governance, Danske Bank

Learn More

Get in touch with us to learn more about how Data Content Manager can help improve your CMDB, or help you align with the CSDM. Book a time with us and we will show you how it works.

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