Design the bank of the future as a Business Architect

Joost is posing
Joost is posing
Joost Landman
Business Architect
Reading time3 minutes

Creating a vision of what business processes should look like several years from now is the task of Business Architect Joost Landman. “If we wouldn’t be here, that wouldn’t be a big deal in the short term. In the medium term, it would become annoying. And in the long run, disastrous. Because then no one would have worked on building the future.”

The field of Business Architecture concerns three elements, Joost explains. The structure of IT systems, the business processes that support them, and the people who work with them. “As a Business Architect, I don’t provide the IT, but rather the vision of what IT and its processes should look like in a few years. That’s what enterprise architecture is about”.

Fast, efficient and accurate

Each business architect at Rabobank has their own domain. “I work in the Wholesale & Rural domain, which deals with wholesale clients who are based abroad and are usually related to the food chain. This includes food production, transportation and processing, but also large farms from Australia and Brazil. The business architecture under my care deals with the application and management process of these clients’ loans. It has to be as fast, efficient and accurate as possible.”

Joost is having a conversation with a colleague

Make the process work

Within this process, Joost is looking into the systems related to the application form. “And that’s not a simple form, but a huge mountain of data, from which you have to extract the right decision parameters. So that you are able to present it to someone who ultimately decides whether or not we will do business with the client.”

Joost explains more about the nature of this data. “There are all kinds of issues to deal with between offer and concluded loan. Who should approve this client? And on what basis? We also perform risk and capital calculations, and for that we need to have a good understanding of the client’s business structure and financial data. Getting all that data on a scratch book or in an Excel file takes too much time. With automation and optimizations, we make this process workable.”

The dream: an end-to-end application process

The dot on the horizon? Joost refers to the beginning of the conversation. “That’s what I mean by designing the future. What we’re doing now doesn’t exist yet. A complete end-to-end application process, that’s the dream.” Joost adds that for him it’s about more than the end result. “The result is going to take years. For me, the moment of success is earlier, when I know the direction we want to go.”

Joost in open meeting room with colleague

Listen and be curious

What qualities come in handy as a business architect? “People often think of the complex, analytical part of the job first. Of course that’s part of it, but always in consultation with colleagues. Not only are you curious about systems and processes, but you also want to know how other people think about them. The work is a lot of listening and talking (and in that order!) to arrive at the right insights.”

Complex business, continuous challenges

When asked what makes this work so interesting, Joost doesn’t have to think long. “It’s incredible to be working on the bank of the future. Rabobank is a large and complex company with continuous challenges. Not just from a regulatory perspective, but because we want to innovate as a company. The design challenges involved are simply fantastic.”

Business Architecture at Rabobank