Case Study: IT Governance and Compliance

Compliance

A retail financial services company with 17 branches in Ontario and plans to expand across Canada while rebranding as a more comprehensive retail bank. The company intended to transition it’s branch services from foreign currency exchange to a much wider offering including account management, debit cards, and ATM transactions in Canada and internationally

The Challenge

Expanding the retail services offered by The Client so dramatically required a much more robust network infrastructure, significantly increased security with very strict compliance requirements and ongoing support for the extensive information technology needs demanded by a Canadian bank. Aging systems were to be replaced with newer software and hardware, and the allowable downtime during this crucial period in The Client’s business growth was nil.

As well as the increased technology requirements of it’s retail outlets, The Client was engaged in the process of building a head office appropriate for it’s new role in the Canadian Financial Services sector from the ground up and was therefore approaching much of it’s network infrastructure from scratch. This major physical expansion was taking place concurrent with The Client’s retail offerings expansion which meant that changeover and development required a seamless and highly managed approach.

The Solution

Infrastructure

  • Upgraded all workstations across all branches, coordinating purchase of 56 new Windows 7 devices with XP VMs, and PREPARED using Horn’s in-house imaging lab prior to deploying devices on site.
    Virtualized a legacy, DOS-based application that previously could run only on XP machines to allow it to run on upgraded, Windows 7 machines, allowing The Client to transition to new software while retaining the ability to work on the old system.
  • Deployed our custom cloud environment to create hosting business infrastructure to allow all of the company’s employees to access email, file server and domain services
    Built out new head office infrastructure to expand from 4 workstations to more than 30. Worked with contractors and cabling company to design proper networking setup for local servers and active directory, essentially creating the network from the group up.

Security

  • Worked with a major telecommunications company to set up an MPLS network (private internet) circuit at all 17 branches as well as head office. This allows secure routing of all traffic through The Client’s domain controller and means that all geographically diverse locations can be controlled and treated as if they are all on one, single corporate network.
  • Provided security consulting services related to the preparation and management of ISO compliant Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery preparation.
  • Provided access to Recovery Planner tool for the development, maintenance and execution of BCP documentation, as well as ongoing training related to the tool

Support

  • Horn established an IT Help Desk available to all of The Client’s branches and employees with formal ticketing and issue tracking services, and technical resources allocated for 24x support by phone, email and in-person.

The Results

“In the early days of our application process with OSFI, our management team quickly realized that our organization would require the services of an organization that specialized in some of the key core areas related to IT; Infrastructure, Security, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, IT Governance, monitoring and incident support. After a length due diligence process was conducted and Horn IT was selected as our IT partner and service provider.

Horn-IT also was instrumental and actively involved in assisting us with the drafting and aligning our company’s IT Strategy with our business plan. It is fair to say that without the assistant and guidance provided by Horn our organization would not have achieved the necessary recommendation and approvals from Internal Audit. We found the staff and team at Horn IT to be extremely professional and responsive to our needs. Perhaps their greatest contributions came in the other key areas of IT; Business Continuity and Planning and Data Security. Their expertise and breadth of knowledge allowed us to deliver and implement quickly and cost effectively. There was never the need to go outside to seek additional vendor services.

I can say with great confidence if not for the partnership and relationship forged with Horn IT, our company would not have achieved the milestones and objectives in the efficient manner executed.”

Vince Carere, CIO