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How Scotiabank is developing reusable apps, and how you can too

Katie Alberti, 6 minute read

The concept of reusability isn’t new to you if you’re creating applications with Pega. But as projects grow and you leverage your applications across different business areas, you need to make sure you aren’t hampering your development speed with rework, causing unneeded app maintenance and driving up costs.  

If you’re looking for an example of one company that’s getting reusability right, you should be watching Scotiabank. Reusability is a foundational element of Scotiabank’s continuous improvement approach to leveraging new applications across its global operations. With 30 million cases processed annually through 75 Pega applications, the bank plans to double this case count within the next few years.  

How Scotiabank is getting reusability right 

The bank compiled a library of accessible componentry for UI, system integrations, and user authentication as well as 150 business processes and case types available for reuse across applications.  

To achieve growth targets without “breaking the IT bank,” Jim Saleh, senior director of the Pega CoE at Scotiabank, explained that company leaders needed to show payback on the organization’s investment in Pega by dissolving business and IT silos and deploying best-practice applications globally. 

Scotiabank focused on the idea of reuse, and the results of this approach have been measurable and impactful, according to Saleh. So far, the bank has measured upward of 70 percent reuse in its contact center solution across three countries, and it’s preparing now to deploy to a fourth. Saleh expects the same or better results for its new enterprise complaint management system as well. 

“We’ve proven we can do this one project at a time, now we’re trying to scale the model up much more widely,” he said. 

This idea of reuse – or rather, modularity in application development – is a foundational design principal for building solutions with Pega. When you first start constructing Pega projects – whether for robotics, workflow, AI, etc. – you should build to share. Take a given use case and break it down into smaller, reusable pieces so that you can easily distribute them across your team and enterprise.  

Help your team benefit 

The benefits? Improved efficiency and greater flexibility, to start. But the list goes on. During a recent webinar led by Pega robotics experts, we explained the key benefits of designing with reuse in mind, as well as many other best practices for designing RPA solutions and beyond. That includes the power of standards and testing as well as the value a Center of Excellence (CoE) can bring to your business.  

If you’re just getting started building with Pega – or are a seasoned Pega veteran – we encourage you to check out this resource to get a refresh on the value of reusability. The panel also led a lengthy Q&A with Pega community members during the event. You can view the event on-demand below here:

You can also navigate to Collaboration Center to watch the event on-demand, read the questions and answers posted in the discussion, and reply to the discussion if you have any new questions.

Popular questions included: 

  • How to approach solution design 
  • Guidance on automated testing 
  • Best practices for monitoring and maintaining RPA bots 

A continuous approach to reusability 

Scotiabank knows the value of these development principals. During its first few years leveraging Pega, the bank saw slower than expected adoption of the platform within its international banks and only partial reuse in solutions rolled out to new areas.  

“When we took a closer look at why this was happening, we saw that our reusable components weren’t fully aligned to global business needs,” Saleh said. “The missing puzzle piece was a business capability model that could be used by product owners to drive convergency of technology and business processes to enterprise standards.” 

Soon after, Scotiabank formed two new committees to drive this change: The Global Business Process Steering Committee, which is charged with agreeing on the business capability model and finding truly reusable processes for enterprise adoption; and the Global CIO Forum, which drives a shared technical roadmap and serves as an umbrella project team to implement reuse more effectively.  

“Instead of measuring reuse after the fact the way we were, the business now defines reuse and works with IT to achieve it,” Saleh said.  

Now, every time the bank starts a new Pega project, its developers aren’t just thinking about what they’re going to build, but what they won’t be building as well.  

“The foundational elements of our planned global rollout include … a continuous approach to reusability,” Saleh explained. “And that means, every time we build an application – every time we start a project – [reusability] is part of the approach. What are we not building as part of this application?” 

Scotiabank continues to build applications with reuse in mind, Saleh said, and will continue to focus on enabling business partners to achieve similar reuse benefits with these applications.  

We hope Scotiabank’s story gave you some insight into the value reuse plays in application development as well as some next steps you can take to implement these best practices within your own organization.  

Recommended resources: 

  • To hear more about Scotiabank’s reuse story, check out Saleh’s presentation from PegaWorld21.
  • And if you’re ready to learn more about incorporating these best practices into your own organization, be sure to check out the Pega community event on this topic listed above and in Collaboration Center.

Don’t forget 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION on Collaboration Center  
FOLLOW @PegaDeveloper on Twitter  
SUBSCRIBE to the Pega Developer Podcast on Spotify or via RSS

About the Author

Katie Alberti is a senior product marketing manager at Pegasystems.

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