Aligning data architecture with organizational structure in the financial services sector

Thoughtworks
2 min readApr 26, 2022

By Danilo Sato and Richard Nicholson

New data architectures aren’t just creating new possibilities for financial services institutions, they’re giving them choice — enabling them to align data architecture with organizational structure and strategy.

Over the past two decades, data architectures have evolved significantly. From the advent of storage area networking and rise of centralized data ownership, to the birth of data warehouses and data lakes, new architecture approaches have transformed how we manage and utilize data — laying the foundation for the data-driven world we live in today.

Data Mesh represents the next step in that evolutionary journey. It’s creating opportunities to bring data closer to the people who need it, enable data self-service, improve data quality, and reducing the time to insight.

Data Mesh offers a decentralized, federated alternative to the centralized approaches that have become prominent over the last 20 years. Importantly, it isn’t an out-and-out replacement for them — just as they weren’t direct replacements for the architecture approaches that came before them.

Instead, these new architectures have created an opportunity to solve a data challenge in the financial services space — aligning data architectures with organizational structures.

With new architectures comes greater choice and freedom — the freedom to choose and implement an architecture that’s aligned with an institution’s unique ownership, change management, security, and regulatory needs.

Choosing the right data architecture for your enterprise

To get the most from any data architecture, it needs to support how an organization and the people within it work. Now, thanks to the breadth of architecture approaches, and the widespread availability of cloud technology that can help bring them to life, there’s no reason why every institution shouldn’t have a data architecture in place that’s aligned with its goals and needs.

In our new whitepaper, aligning data architecture with organizational structure in the financial services sector, Thoughtworks and Amazon Web Services (AWS) explore four common scenarios, identifying how different data architecture approaches can be built to support different types of organizations.

In the paper, we look in detail at how financial services institutions can use AWS technology to build optimal data architectures for:

  • A centralized organization or business unit
  • Federated business units within an organization
  • Fully autonomous business units within an organization
  • A group of commercially distinct organizations

The paper explores the advantages and opportunities associated with each scenario, along with architectural diagrams that demonstrate how to build aligned architectures for each on AWS, and discussions on when Data Mesh principles become more or less relevant.

Download the full whitepaper now to take a deeper dive into the architecture alignment opportunity, discover the right architecture for your institution, and build an evolving, future-ready data strategy that drives you towards achieving your strategic goals — whatever they are.

Originally published at https://www.thoughtworks.com on April 12th, 2022.

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