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Capital One Delivers 85% Of Software Through Agile

Agile software development methods have reduced delivery times to three to six months while cutting costs significantly.

In its efforts to transform the customer experience from a traditional banking transaction to one that is more like a a consumer's interaction with Amazon or Apple, Capital One is relying on agile technology development to change the way it deploys new applications and services.

However, when Capital One bought ING Direct back in 2012, the two financial organizations had almost completely opposite information technology strategies. Capital One, which at the time was primarily a card company with a small but growing banking operation, relied on an outsourcing strategy for most of its systems that were considered commodity systems or technology. ING Direct, however, had a technology strategy where most of its technology was run in house.

Capital One is looking to change the way it interacts with its customers.Capital One is looking to change the way it interacts with its customers.

"At ING direct, we didn't really outsource," said Rudy Wolfs, Senior VP of Card IT at Capital One, during his presentation at the InformationWeek Conference. Wolfs was one of the founding executives at ING Direct. "When ING Direct joined Capital One, we did things differently. There are things that are truly commodities, but there are also things that need to be in house for competitive advantage," Wolfs told the audience.

Although finding a balance between in-house development and commodity technology was challenging, the bigger change for the newly combined IT team was to adopt an agile development methodology for all technology projects, Wolfs reports. When Capital One started to roll out agile development in 2011, Wolfs said it amounted to just one percent of software that was delivered. Today, 85 percent of software is delivered by the agile method. With agile, Capital One now also releases approximately 400 product releases a month, has cut delivery times to three to six months while "cutting costs significantly" and has 95 percent of products meet expectations on the first release, according to Wolfs.

Read the full story on Bank Systems & Technology Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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