Information Framework

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Information FrameWork (IFW) is an enterprise architecture framework, populated with a comprehensive set of banking specific business models. It was developed as an alternative to the Zachman Framework by Roger Evernden.[1][2][3]

The banking specific business models represent good practice in banking and is a natural extension to the Component Business Model. Once you have started down the path of transforming to an On Demand Business and have identified components for your business, the IFW business models provide the banking specific business content that can accelerate your resultant IT projects.


The IFW business models describe the business of the bank and are an efficient communication bridge between business and technology communities. They are designed to be readily accessible to business users and focus on industry issues in areas such as Customer Insight, Multi-Channel Transformation, Core Systems and Risk & Compliance.

The IFW comprises:

  • Information Models: providing banking data content to address areas such as enterprise-wide view of information
  • Process Models: providing banking business processes content to address areas such as business process reengineering
  • Integration Models: providing business services content to address areas such as services oriented architectures

The IFW business models typically support over 80% of business requirements and can be easily customized and extended to cover the specific requirements of a bank. The IFW business models will assist a bank in implementing a flexible, reusable, extensible and easily customizable architecture, which in turn will enable the bank to:

  • Be more adaptive and to respond quickly to changing customer needs
  • Focus on achieving competitive differentiation
  • Identify and leverage best practice behaviors across the organization

In its conception, the IFW was an enterprise architecture framework created as an alternative to the Zachman Framework.[1] In 1987 John Zachman proposed the Zachman Framework to describe Information Architecture with the six concepts: The what related to data, how related to process, where related to network and location, who related to actors and people, when related to time, and at last why related to motivation.

Industry Models[edit]

This framework has become part of what is commonly known as the Industry Models.[4] The IBM Industry Models are used primarily for the development of internal company standards, and provide an overall integration layer across an organization's existing and future IT investments. With their strong business and IT orientation, IBM Industry Models are designed to be customized to reflect the precise needs of every company using them. Hence, every company will have its own customized industry-specific version of IBM's data, process and service models, allowing them to represent areas that are unique to their business and constitute competitive advantage. In addition, the models can be easily augmented to embrace industry extensions, jurisdiction and company-specific extensions easily.

The Industry Models(IFW) has products for the following industries:

  • Banking and Financial Markets (Data, Process, Services),
  • Insurance (Data, Process, Services),
  • Healthcare (Data),
  • Telecommunications (Data),
  • Retail (Data).

While in some markets IBM Industry Models have become de facto standards, their purpose is not to standardize at the level of an industry, but to provide the basis for defining corporate standards. IBM's approach is to facilitate or embody the most important industry standards, which are most often data models or messaging formats. Architectural elements in the IBM Industry Models are data models, process models and service models.

Banking and Financial Markets[edit]

The Information Framework for banking and financial markets contains products containing data, process and services models primarily focused on Data Warehouse and Services Oriented Architecture domains.

IBM Banking and Financial Markets Data Warehouse (BFMDW)[edit]

The banking and financial markets industry is tackling three core challenges head on. The first is focused on its medium-to-longer term future and how the organization perceives the issues of revenue and risk. Central to the decision about what risks to accept is the need to accurately quantify those risks for trades, hedge funds, counterparties and pricing. The management of risk is strategic to an organization’s corporate intent and survival. The second area of focus is how to respond to the ever growing demands of regulatory compliance including requirements such as Basel II/III,[5] the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA),[6] the Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO),[7] International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)[8] for International Accounting Standards (IAS), the Capital Adequacy Directive (CAD) and AntiMoney Laundering (AML) and others. The investments in meeting compliance requirements can be significant so the challenge is how to do this without impacting profitability. Organizations that can turn such investments into market advantage will reap the benefits. The third challenge is addressing the requirements of efficiency, growth and resiliency to provide more relevant, robust, timely, and cost effective information to business decision makers. Customer retention is important in a volatile market so attention must also be paid to enhancing the customer experience.

IBM Banking and Financial Markets Data Warehouse typically support approximately 80% of business requirements and can be easily customized and extended to cover the specific requirements of a financial institution. They assist a financial institution in implementing a flexible, reusable, extensible and easily customizable architecture, which enables organizations to:

  1. Increase adaptivity and faster response to changing customer needs
  2. Accelerated Time to Value in the modeling, design and deployment phase of a project
  3. Proven design templates reduce project time and costs
  4. Improve Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness
  5. Strengthen Business/Technology Linkage
  6. Focus on achieving competitive differentiation
  7. Identify and leverage best-practice behaviors across the organization

The BFMDW has a wealth of content, for example, the product contains more than 140 Analytical Requirements covering seven business focus areas.

Focus Area Analytical Requirements
Asset and Liability Management
Class Action Period Holding Analysis Financial Market Lot Analysis Investment Fund Analysis Proxy Vote Analysis
Corporate Action Analysis Foreign Exchange Analysis Performance Analysis Securities Available For Lending
Dynamic Performance Analysis Holding Movement Analysis Performance Versus Benchmark Analysis Settlement Analysis
Investment Management
Capital Allocation Analysis Financial Market Transaction Analysis Inward Payment User Activity Short Term Funding Management
Capital Procurement Funds Maturity Analysis Inward Payments Volume Structured Finance Analysis
Credit Loss Allowance Analysis High Value Outward Payment Inward Payments VWAP Analysis
Economic Balance Sheet Analysis Interest Rate Sensitivity Analysis Liquidity Analysis
Equity Position Exposure Inward Payment Rate Tolerance Net Interest Margin Variance
Financial Management Accounting Outward Payments Positions Analysis
Activity Based Costing Analysis Income Analysis Organization Unit Profitability Transaction Profitability Analysis
Business Procedure Performance Measurement Insurance Product Analysis Performance Measurement
Channel Profitability Investment Arrangement Analysis Product Analysis
Customer Lifetime Value Analysis Islamic Banking Profitability Analysis Product Profitability
Customer Profitability Location Profitability Profitability Analysis
Regulatory Compliance
Best Execution Analysis Quarterly Transaction Reporting Analysis Sarbanes Oxley Act Stmt Chg Shrhldr Eqty Anlys
Continuous Auction Analysis Quote Driven Analysis Structure of Regulatory Capital
ECB Reporting Sarbanes Oxley Act Analysis (SOX) Suspicious Activity Analysis
Financial Capital Adequacy Analysis Sarbanes Oxley Act Balance Sheet Analysis Transaction Activity Analysis
Foreign Financial Account Analysis Sarbanes Oxley Act Cash Flow Analysis Transaction Reporting Analysis
Periodic Auction Analysis Sarbanes Oxley Act Statement Of Income Analysis
Relationship Marketing
Call Centre Performance Analysis Customer Complaints Analysis Lead Analysis Website Visitor Analysis
Campaign Analysis Customer Delinquency Analysis Market Analysis
Card Fees Analysis Customer Experience Analysis Mobile Visitor Analysis
Card Loyalty Analysis Customer Interaction Analysis Operator Script Performance Analysis
Cross Sell Analysis Customer Investment Profile Payment Card Merchant Analysis
Customer Attrition Analysis Customer Loyalty Wallet Share Analysis
Customer Behavior Individual Customer Profile Website Page Analysis
Risk Management
Advanced IRB And AMA Analysis Contractual Maturity Mismatch Debt Restructure Analysis Insurance Risk Profile Liquidity Retail Funding Risk Marketable Assets Risk Portfolio Credit Exposure
Advanced Risk Based Capital Analysis Credit Risk Analysis Economic Capital Analysis Integrated Risk Analysis Liquidity Risk Analysis Non Performing Loan Analysis Product Risk Analysis
Asset Pool Performance Analysis Credit Risk Assessment Equity Exposure Analysis Interest Rate Risk Analysis Liquidity Wholesale Funding Risk Off-Balance Sheet Liquidity Risk Securitization Analysis
Authority Profiling Credit Risk Exposure Analysis Foreign Currency LCR Analysis Intra-Day Liquidity Risk Location Exposure Operational Risk Assessment Security Analysis
Available Unencumbered Asset Credit Risk Mitigation Assessment Funding Diversification Risk Involved Party Exposure Long Term Liquidity Analysis Operational Risk Loss Analysis Short Term Liquidity Analysis
Collections Analysis Cross Currency Liquidity Risk Incremental Risk In The Trading Book Liquidity Gap Analysis Market Risk Capital Charges Analysis Outstandings Analysis Value At Risk Analysis
Concentration Of Funding Customer Credit Risk Profile Individual Credit Assessment Analysis Liquidity Position Analysis Market Risk VaR Analysis Payment Card Fraud Analysis
Wealth Management
Asset Allocation Analysis Portfolio Fee And Tax Analysis Portfolio Risk Analysis
Client Profitability Analysis Portfolio Gains Analysis Profit & Loss Attribution Analysis
Client Summary Analysis Portfolio Performance Analysis

IBM Banking Data Warehouse (BDW)[edit]

The BDW is a derivative of the BFMDW and contains content only relevant to the banking industry.

IBM Financial Markets Data Warehouse (FMDW)[edit]

The FMDW is a derivative of the BFMDW and contains only content relevant to the financial markets industry.

IBM Banking Process and Service Models (BPS)[edit]

The pace of change in the financial services industry has accelerated markedly in recent years. Mergers and acquisitions, the introduction of channel architecture, the development of technologies such as internet banking and telephone banking, the introduction of product bundling and the shift in focus from transactional systems to customer-facing systems such as operational single view of customer have all brought about extensive changes in the way financial services organizations operate. By necessity, standalone solutions have been developed, supported by an array of individual processes and procedures that often mimic and duplicate each other, but are sufficiently disparate to cause cost and training issues for financial services organizations, impairing the synergies and savings available to a coherent, strategic organization. A structured approach to any business or IT initiative is imperative to the success of projects. Utilizing the BPS models can act as the formal blueprint for process and services design and be utilized as a tool to bring both business and IT together.

There are many benefits to be derived from using the BPS models, such as:

  • Increase customer satisfaction, grow the customer base and reduce the cost of selling and servicing customers
  • Identify opportunities to streamline processes, making service delivery cheaper and quicker
  • Identify processes that essentially do the same thing and therefore should be amenable to rationalization. This reduces training and maintenance overheads, improves your cost-income ratio and provides better and less costly service to your customers
  • Be better able to ensure completeness in terms of regulatory compliance and risk management, potentially releasing capital to provide additional lending and investment capacity
  • Designed to be understood by both business and IT, and acts as a communication bridge between communities.
  • Provides an environment in which reuse possibilities can be identified and verified.
  • Provides a firm basis on which integration or SOA solutions can be built.
  • Allows you to construct services within a formalized model.
  • Provides traceability from service definitions back to business requirements.

The BPS models have coverage in the following areas: Sales & Relationship Management; KYC/Account Opening; Lending; Card Products Administration; Commercial / Syndicated Lending; Mortgages; Trade Finance; Savings, Investments & Term Deposits; Transfer Services; Payments -Direct Debit / Credit Transfer / Deposit / Withdrawal; Cash Management; Wealth Management; Product & Marketing Management; Regulatory & Compliance; Best Execution/MiFID; Trade Processing; Corporate Actions; Asset & Liability Management; and Human Resource Administration.


Contains products containing data, process and services models primarily focused on Data Warehouse and Services Oriented Architecture domains.

IBM Insurance Information Warehouse (IIW)[edit]

Over the past decade, all insurance industry sectors have experienced profound transformations in their business environments. Deregulation, competition, technology advances and globalization combine to exert substantial pressure on insurers, brokers, asset managers and reinsurers and on their ability to respond to these changes.

The IBM Insurance Information Warehouse (IIW) is a fully realized development blueprint enabling insurance companies to build Data Warehouse solutions to suit their specific needs. IIW includes the key components required for the core of a data warehousing solution. IIW offers:

  1. A flexible and scalable Data Warehouse infrastructure, enabling organizations to build a comprehensive Data Warehouse solution through phased development. This allows for rapid delivery of high business value deliverables by initially focusing on the business areas offering the greatest returns and feasibility, while building within a proven technical warehousing architecture
  2. Content to cover analysis in critical insurance business areas such as Profitability, CRM, Financial Reporting and Risk Management (For example, Solvency II.[9] Selected analysis areas are described in further detail at the end of this chapter
  3. Flexibility to make possible the creation of a range of Data Warehouse solutions, from departmental data marts to enterprise-wide Data Warehouses utilizing both Atomic and Dimensional models.
  4. A proven flexible and scalable Data Warehouse technical infrastructure required for successfully building a comprehensive Data Warehouse solution, and providing the rapid delivery of business value without compromising on a sound and scalable structure.
  5. Infrastructure blueprint, consisting of business solution templates satisfied by thousands of common business definitions and logical data structures, IIW is used by insurance companies to integrate data from multiple operational platforms and to design this Data Warehouse infrastructure.

IIW offers a set of Business Solution Templates that describe how information can be effectively structured and presented to business users. Examples include: Analytical Customer Relationship Management (CRM); Profitability; Claims Efficiency; Intermediary Performance; Business Performance; Risk and Compliance; Solvency I; Solvency II; Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOA); International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); and Risk Management.

IBM Insurance Application Architecture (IAA)[edit]

As the insurance industry continues to deal with a fast pace of change, insurers face stark new challenges. In today’s marketplace, survival favors the agile; speed can be a critical differentiator; and the organizational status quo is often a liability. Successful insurers are beginning to adapt to continuous, unpredictable and accelerating change. Many insurers still struggle to manage a complex web of legacy silos, disparate systems, redundant functionality, excess capacity and inconsistent service levels. Enthusiasm for IT spending and decentralization has exacerbated the problem, saddling firms with overlapping – and often unproven – technologies. For many insurers, the results are all too familiar: disjointed operations, redundant capabilities, inefficient cost structures and duplication of work across product, geography and business lines. Most insurers still operate largely within a vertical business structure, whereby distribution occurs mainly by product silo and operations are biased toward internally manufactured or developed products. Achieving material cost reductions in this structure is difficult, and consumers generally see very little or no differentiation among insurers. Given their financial challenges, insurers can no longer afford to have capabilities duplicated across product silos, with each product operating its own processes, systems and specific channels. This duplication causes significantly greater complexity in insurer operations, impacts costs and speed to market, and often increases operational risk.

The Insurance Application Architecture (IAA) is a comprehensive set of insurance specific models that represents best practices in insurance and is a natural extension to the Component Business Model. The IAA models provide the insurance specific business content to accelerate the projects that result from moving to an On Demand Business and pick up the definition of the components that take you there. IAA describes the business of the insurer and is an efficient communication bridge between business and technology communities. It is designed to be readily accessible to business users and by focusing on industry issues such as Sales and Customer Services, Marketing and Analytics, Customer Relationship Management, Policy Administration, Product Development, Insurance Claims and Risk and Compliance.

The IAA models have coverage in the following areas: LOB Customer Acquisition (Individual Insurance), LOB Underwriting (Individual Insurance), LOB Customer Acquisition (Group Insurance), LOB Policy Administration (Individual), LOB Claim Management (Individual), LOB Policy Administration / Claim (Group), Financial Transaction / Investment, Reinsurance Management, Intermediary Management, Provider Management, Human Resource Management, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Management, Product Development, Risk Policy Management, Risk Mitigation and Assessment, and Risk Reporting and Review.

Other industries[edit]

  • Healthcare : Contains products containing data models primarily focused on the Data Warehouse domain.
  • Telecommunications : Contains products containing data models primarily focused on the Data Warehouse domain.
  • Retail : Contains products containing data models primarily focused on the Data Warehouse domain.


  1. ^ a b Information FrameWork, Systems Journal article, Roger Evernden
  2. ^ Rik Maes. A generic framework for information management. Universiteit van Amsterdam, Department of Accountancy & Information Management, 1999.
  3. ^ Greefhorst, Danny, Henk Koning, and Hans van Vliet. "The many faces of architectural descriptions." Information Systems Frontiers 8.2 (2006): 103-113.
  4. ^ Industry Models
  5. ^ Basel II/III
  6. ^ Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
  7. ^ Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO)
  8. ^ (IFRS)
  9. ^ Solvency II)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]