The challenge of getting a whole firm “into the same boat” and understanding the true benefits of a data management project requires strong leadership and governance from the outset, said Hans Lux, enterprise data architect at UBS Global Asset Management, to the delegation in attendance at TSAM 2010 earlier this week. The importance of data governance is far from a new concept, but Lux stressed that firms should use the audit trail to their advantage in the current environment where regulatory scrutiny is so intense.
The cross border environment has also made data management projects much more important and much more challenging, added Lux. “There is a much higher requirement for control and governance of data when it is being dealt with across borders. If your vendor is based outside of your own country or you have opted to offshore, for example, you need to keep strong service level agreements (SLAs) in place and adopt a true partnership approach.”
Lux contended that those in charge of the overall data projects need to remain involved in a hands on manner, even if outsourcing or offshoring has been chosen as the new model. He told delegates to “beef up” the monitoring functions in order to check that SLAs are being met: “Trust is good but control is better.”
This issue was a common theme throughout the day at TSAM and many speakers from both the practitioner and vendor camps were keen to stress the importance of SLAs. Given the level of scrutiny that is being directed at vendor solutions from their customers due to current cost and risk management pressures, this advice is not surprising. Regulators want more data from the firms under their watchful gazes and, in turn, these firms want higher levels of service from their providers in order to meet these new requirements.