How does an established company grow its business when it already owns a significant share of the market? It’s a question that Broadridge, a leading provider of investor communications and security processing solutions, is currently answering.
“We help the financial services industry and corporate issuers operate more efficiently,” says Kelly Howard, vice president of corporate communications for Broadridge. “Our solutions help our clients focus on their core business activities.”
The solutions to which Howard is referring have historically been of the behind-the-scenes variety. But the company, which processes nearly five trillion dollars a day in financial settlements and facilitates more than one billion investor communications annually, is transforming its business to be a frontline solutions provider.
It’s all part of a strategic, multiyear plan that:
- Started with server virtualization
- Continued with data center convergence
- Is now moving toward cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service
“We’re still on the journey,” says John Gullotta, senior vice president and CTO of Broadridge. “It’s a phased approach to improving our overall IT capabilities, focusing on creating a platform that facilitates business change.”
The journey begins
Broadridge started the virtualization of servers more than three years ago in an effort to reduce costs and optimize IT resources. Following a comprehensive virtualization assessment and maturity modeling, the company identified the need for and benefits of a fully converged infrastructure.
“We wanted to align our internal teams, processes, and technology,” Gullotta explains. “So we extended our server virtualization efforts to all functional areas of the data center.”
Utilizing the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco® Unified Computing System™, Broadridge now has a powerful, converged infrastructure that can be used as a platform for more efficient technology services—or entirely new ones.
“We’re just now at the point of leveraging our converged infrastructure to deliver production services,” says Gullotta. “From an IT standpoint, we’re ready to deliver infrastructure-as-a-service through a private cloud. From a business standpoint, we’re still determining our capabilities, our processes, our governance models, and how to extend internal resources to external customers and partners.”
Preparing for change
With a unified infrastructure in place, both Howard and Gullotta indicate there are countless ways in which it can be put to use. Exactly how the new environment is utilized will be determined by Broadridge business leaders and the markets they serve.
“The financial services industry continues to undergo significant change,” explains Howard. “We can’t predict the future, but we can be prepared to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. That’s why we’re not investing in a solution, but rather a platform that is flexible and able to support the changes to our business and our clients’ needs.”
“We want to build our capabilities gradually to determine our readiness, avoid any risks, and get comfortable with the environment,” Gullotta adds. “But then we have an opportunity to extend those capabilities.”
- Broadridge is planning to create an internal private cloud that allows the company’s business teams to easily provision IT infrastructure and services.
- Thereafter, Gullotta foresees an external private cloud that provides dedicated services to the company’s client base as well as new markets and customers.
Partnering with business leaders
While the options are vast and the specific course of action unknown, one thing is certain: Gullotta isn’t interested in determining the strategic direction of Broadridge’s business.
“Business leaders determine the road ahead,” he says. “We want to build a fast, efficient vehicle, and then give them the wheel.”
- Gullotta is aiming to establish a “Cloud Governance Council” that brings together the company’s technology caretakers with its business leaders.
- Working collaboratively, the two sides will define a set of technology criteria and processes that support and enable business initiatives.
“The discussion isn’t about servers; it’s about technology supporting business capabilities and scenarios,” Gullotta notes. “We want the ability to quickly conduct pilot projects, validate concepts, and deliver new products and services that push our business forward.
“We have an opportunity to extend our technology services in new and exciting ways,” he adds. “This may include big data analytics initiatives, mobile applications or social media outreach. Fortunately, we have the right platform and capabilities in place to explore and test a number of options.”
- Broadridge has saved millions of dollars through server and data center consolidations, and is using those IT initiatives to establish a converged infrastructure.
- The potential value of the converged infrastructure is forthcoming, with innovative products and services delivered through a number of channels and initiatives.
“The worst case scenario is a more dynamic, cost effective, efficient infrastructure,” says Gullotta. “The best case scenario is new products and services, new partners and markets, and new revenue opportunities.”