How to Establish a Financial Computing System

A reliable financial computing environment includes the following components:
  • A long-term administrative computing plan based on a thorough assessment of all major business processing and data needs. The plan defines the technical infrastructure and each of the system projects required to meet the unit's needs for the next three years. The plan should be updated annually.
  • Experienced and well-trained technical professionals to meet the unit's computing needs, including, at minimum, a Computing Support Coordinator.

Establishing the Computing Project

Follow these steps in initiating and developing computing projects;

 

Project Initiation

 This includes:

  • Gaining appropriate administrative approval.
  • Defining the nature, scope, benefits, risks, priorities, timing, and most likely development and implementation method for the project.
  • Identifying areas and individuals affected by the project.
  • Anticipating staffing, equipment and other requirements.
  • Determining funding requirements and funding sources for the project life cycle and ongoing maintenance.
  • Naming a project coordinator if the complexity of the project warrants it.
Analysis and DesignThis includes:
  • Identifying the functional, informational and technical requirements of the proposed system. 
  • Using data models or similar tools to ensure that the systems will be developed separate from the data, data redundancy will be minimized and overall referential integrity will be satisfied.
Acquiring Hardware and SoftwareThis involves a written proposal when significant hardware and software purchases are requested. Such proposals should always cross-reference specific projects defined in the long-term administrative computing plan. 
Implementation This includes:
  • Developing a detailed project plan that identifies all tasks to be completed, who will do them and when they will be done.
  • Ensuring that all aspects of the project will adhere to central data administrative standards.
  • Testing to ensure that the new system interfaces smoothly with other systems, and that audits, controls and checkpoints function properly.
Post-AuditOnce operational, the unit responsible for the new system must ensure that the agreed to level of service provided to the users is being satisfied and that proper maintenance, backup and recovery systems are in place. See Related Information for service and technical requirements.

For further information, contact IT Services (see Related Information).