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August 2, 2018
In July, Cutover graduated from the New York Fintech Innovation Lab and CEO Ky Nichol pitched to a room full of Lab associates and partner banks on Demo Day. We got a great introduction from Timothy Bhatt, CTO at Ally Financial and one of the mentors we worked with while participating in the Lab.
'When I introduced Cutover to our teams internally at the company, they asked me “where has Cutover been?”'
- Timothy Bhatt, CTO at Ally Financial
Ky then went on to discuss Cutover and the problems it addresses, including:
The risks of making complex technology changes
Lost change capacity due to release contention
Reducing the cost and risk of critical events and improving audit
Providing the human and machine orchestration that enterprises currently lack
Providing good data that is currently hidden across the enterprise
Good morning. First off I’d like to thank Maria, the Partnership Fund, Accenture and all the 2018 Fintech Lab participants for another excellent year of the program.
So, do you remember that time when your primary data center had a failure and the team had to perform a real-life disaster recovery exercise? Or how about that big data conversion you had to do for your core bank platform? Or the big mobile app release? Where are the procedures? Who needs to be involved? What are the steps required and in what order?
Well, I’m here today to introduce Cutover. Major software releases are complex, costly and inherently high risk and Cutover has built a platform to help companies manage these complex software changes to our critical systems by reducing risk, enabling a full audit trail and ultimately enabling higher velocity for change. It’s no secret that although these changes are routinely implemented almost every weekend, they are largely orchestrated by a patchwork of manual processes and many many spreadsheets and Cutover brings together all this planning data across disparate systems and they bring them all in to see the tasks on one simple platform.
It’s been a pleasure working with Cutover during the program. We were impressed with the maturity of Ky and his team but equally impressed with the product that they have built. When I introduced Cutover to our teams internally at the company, they asked me “where has Cutover been?” Well, I’m pleased and excited to tell you that Cutover’s here, part of the Fintech Innovation Lab and ready to help organizations manage complex software changes. So without any further delay, I’ll introduce to you Ky Nichol, CEO of Cutover.
Thank you, Tim. Successfully delivering technology change in Financial Services is not easy. It’s a lot like having to manage a constant stream of delivery trucks that are taking those changes from the world of Development across a bridge into live Operations. Up to 35% of change capacity can be lost at the first toll gate because traffic is very hard to optimize and trucks are turned around for being toxic in combination. On the bridge it gets worse, trucks crash, block lanes for hours, causing delays and some trucks get through. They crash into live services, causing costly outages and damaging reputations. This is exactly the position of a CIO in Financial Services today. They’ll spend an awful lot of money on the fast-paced, productivity-focused world of Development and a similarly large amount of money on the prudently-paced, availability-focused world of Technology Operations. There’ll be a real mix of systems: brownfield, greenfield, which means that change can’t always be as dynamic as we’d like. And still to this day many of those changes are conducted on Microsoft Excel because the teams lack the orchestration necessary to bring together those worlds of Development and Operations.
I’m Ky Nichol, CEO Cofounder, and when I worked in the space industry when we were planning or executing critical events, we had careful human-and-machine choreography to make sure the thing went well the first time. So why in banking and Financial Services, with exactly the same risk profile, should we do it in any other way?
Our clients are telling us about three core sources of value that they get from the Cutover platform. Firstly, significant savings through increased change throughput and less wastage. Secondly, less risk of those outages and, thirdly, a comprehensive audit trail to enable collaboration with the regulator.
Let me take you through the platform. First off, teams can book their release slot well ahead of time with Enterprise Change Management. Those traffic cops have got more time to do the traffic optimization. They’re given the runbook template which is the safe routing across the chasm not to cause the outage. If it’s a big event they can practice to make sure it’ll go right the first time. During execution, we give you mission control, the human-and-machine orchestration of the activities. Stakeholders can see up-to-the-second live information without disturbing anybody on the ground to get that and if anything starts to go wrong, teams can act quickly to do in-flight engineering to nip risk in the bud and prevent it occurring before any incident needs to be raised. Afterwards, we provide you with a full audit trail, so no more fog of war in reviews and a comprehensive data set across all events. Data that was hitherto very hard to get, hidden like dark matter across the enterprise in Excel spreadsheets, phone calls, emails, and the developer’s green screen.
We’ve had fantastic traction to date. Our clients have used us for a really wide range of use cases. Things like handling all high-value payments technology changes right across the organization. All staged disaster recovery tests and some of the biggest changes, changes like this one: the merging of two credit card business onto one single platform in one weekend. The complexity of this event is not far off putting a man on the moon.
It’s been absolutely fantastic to work with a great set of clients where Cutover is in live operation right now delivering that value that we mentioned. But on this program, wow, it’s been tremendous. Our mentor organizations, it’s been great to work with them. Together we’ve performed successfully three Proof of Value events during the program with a further three in planning or underway right now. Together with those mentors, we achieved our strategic target for this lab: validate our current use cases and future. And it’s helped set us up for our next stage, which is all about expanding our client base in the US, it’s about expanding our product to handle wider use cases and further DevOps integration, and expanding our talent and our team. And that is a team that I’m proud to work with and for. One that has over 120 years of experience in technology and Financial Services and a board that has extensive experience of building and scaling significant technology companies.
Thank you so much for the opportunity of being on this program, all the mentor organizations, and Maria and others. It’s been so good, we’ve learned a phenomenal amount and I’d like to invite you to continue to join us on this exciting journey to ensure those delivery trucks get to their destination without causing outages, to ensure your rockets get into the right orbit first time and that together we can reduce the risk and cost of technology change in Financial Services. Thank you very much.