Cloud Helps Financial Company Spin Up a New IT Operation

Another company acquired about 75 percent of Lincoln Trust, along with its technology, which left the CTO with a pressing need for a new technology platform

Charlie Billings faced a daunting task: Create an entire IT operation for a company already in full swing.

The company is Lincoln Trust, a provider of 401(k) services, where Billings is vice president of IT and CTO. The company had spent four years achieving high efficiency, with a business operations strategy that relied on enterprise-level workflow technology. The technology--off-the-shelf software that had been customized and run in a private cloud--was so successful that it was the main reason PENSCO Trust bought Lincoln Trust, Billings says.

The sale, completed in March of 2012, transferred about 75 percent of Lincoln Trust, along with the technology, to PENSCO. That left Lincoln Trust with the 401(k) business line, about half its 200 employees, and a pressing need for a new technology platform.

Given the circumstances, Billings says cloud was the way to go. He figured cloud-based offerings would let him set up a new platform quickly without costing the millions he'd need if he were to build it on-premises.

That was feasible, Billings says, because he already had good insight into Lincoln Trust's processes. His enterprise-level workflow process is based on the idea that there are just four states of work: new work coming in, work being assigned, work being processed and sent to quality control, and, finally, work routed to history.

Gartner analyst Michele Cantara says Lincoln Trust could make cloud work, and work so quickly, because it already had insight into its workflow and business process management. "They were already using a BPM platform, so their processes were visible," Cantara says.

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