BNG Bank wants to offer its employees the tools to develop applications themselves, and thus increase productivity and drive innovation within their organization. With traditional programming environments, this is time-consuming and expensive. The bank developed a pilot application together with Macaw to manage risks, mitigating measures and the monitoring of the measures. The use of Power Apps led to a much shorter turnaround time than with the traditional method, lower costs and a robust app.
About BNG Bank
BNG Bank is a bank that works specifically for local and regional authorities and institutions in the fields of housing, healthcare, education, energy and infrastructure. Almost all municipalities and many housing corporations are its customers. BNG Bank is the fourth largest bank in the Netherlands and among the top five of the world’s fifty most secure banks. It aims to be a committed partner for a more sustainable Netherlands.
Challenge: Secure and Unambiguous Recording of Risks and Controls
Secure and timely information provision is absolutely essential for BNG Bank. Good data quality and data governance are extremely important here. In addition, the bank wants to further digitize internal processes and remain agile as an organization. It has adopted a cloud-first strategy, for reasons of scalability, reliability, security and speed. In three years’ time, eighty percent of the IT world will have to work in the cloud.
Approach: a First Working Version in Three Days
The building of the app took place by means of an App-in-a-Week session. As the process started in April 2020, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the work was done remotely on Microsoft Teams.
The requirements were clear: the app had to be robust and suitable for multi-user use, and it had to demonstrate regulatory compliance of risks and controls. An audit trail was also important, and BNG Bank wanted to spend no more than five days on the development work. The work had to be done quickly and properly, in other words, and Macaw and BNG Bank took on the challenge together.
The ultimate result was a model-driven app, supplemented with canvas apps. The first version was delivered in three days and shown to the most important stakeholders, after which a few more days were spent adding a number of ‘nice-to-haves’. Within just two weeks, BNG Bank had a perfectly functioning app.
‘This app is comparable to one that we developed three years ago: that took three developers nine months.’ – Andre van der Tol , IT Manager BNG.
Result: Compliance Demonstrated Efficiently
In the app, the user can add information about controls in a form. These controls can be linked to requirements, such as those of the European Banking Authority (EBA) or the ISO standards, enabling BNG Bank to demonstrate efficiently that the organization is compliant. It was already possible to demonstrate this in the past, but the traditional method using Excel spreadsheets was considerably more labor-intensive. Controls are linked to risks, which also makes this an app for identifying risk management. In addition, an audit trail is built into the app and you can see who has made what changes. The data are imported directly from Excel.
In the near future, BNG Bank plans to build two more apps: a Skillmatrix and a cloud register. The cloud register needs to become an app so that all the data that BNG Bank has in the cloud can be administered, with sufficient information to register with DNB. At present, this too is still done by means of an Excel spreadsheet. There are various types of license for the use of Power Apps, and BNG Bank is now investigating which type is most suitable for it.
How Did the Project Go for BNG?
Andre van der Tol, IT Manager at BNG: ‘I was pleasantly surprised by what you can achieve in a relatively short time. This app is comparable to one that we developed three years ago: that took three developers nine months. We have now achieved the same in two weeks. We’re using Power Apps for its intended purpose: it’s fast and robust, but the Power Platform isn’t suitable for everything. When you set very high standards, work with large numbers and have many users, you come up against limitations, so Power Apps isn’t the solution for everything. One key prerequisite for successful implementation is for the governance structure to be properly set up. Only then can you go ahead with gradually rolling out the Power Platform via IT to the business.’
Want to Know More about Power Apps?
Keen to start working with Power Apps yourself? During several workshops, organized by Microsoft and Macaw, we help you to build a business app in just one day. Contact us to get more information on one of our workshops: App In A Day, Power Virtual Agents In A Day or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in a Day.