A computer software model for the assessment of commercial property loans

Wright, John Beric (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2001-03)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The development of computer software is a complex and laborious task, further complicated by the fact that copyright legislation is vague, at best. If the software is being developed for commercial exploitation then speed to market is essential and, even then, there is little to prevent skilled competitors from copying or even cloning the model. During the course of the year 2000 a team of developers, c ompr t s tn g Phillip Munday, Chris Vietri and the writer, not only managed to develop and prototype a complex loan evaluation software model, but have carried it through to the initial stages of a phased implementation and are presently involved in negotiations to sell the intellectual property rights (IPR) to a firm which specialises in the marketing of software to the banking industry internationally. It is virtually impossible for a single person to develop a model of this nature as it requires a comprehensive skills asset, including broad-based financial knowledge, specialised banking skills as well as a sound knowledge of information systems architecture, not to mention software p rogramming skills. The implementation and subsequent sale of the model further required comprehensive project management skills as well as the human resources understanding required for the substantial change management involved. Each of these 3 parties brought not only their particular exp ert i se to the table, but also a holistic view of the final shap e and form of the model. As is the case with projects of this magnitude numerous difficulties were encountered. These were, however, all overcome, via a series of iterations, and the model was introduced to the business on schedule. The implementation itself was fraught with difficulty, but the combination of a phased approach, together with comprehensive training and support, has led to the acceptance of the model by business users. There remain some technical difficulties which require to be resolved, particularly the disappointing performance of the model over a wide area network and also its integration with existing systems, but the model itself has exceeded expectations. It is simple to use, allows for a comprehensive and focused loan assessment and offers the ability to perform sophisticated sensitivity analysis in a fraction of a second. The model is now in its final shape and has been formally named Version 1.0, yet a great deal of work remains. We, as a bank, are not ideally suited to become purveyors of software and need to expedite the transfer of the IPR to a neutral party, to avoid local banks who might wish to purchase it from viewing our involvement with suspicion. Once this has been done, and the final phase of implementation concluded in March 2001, we will be able to move on to the exciting task of creating derivatives of the model, aimed at meeting the needs of other elements of the industry.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ontwikkeling van rekenaar-sagteware is 'n lang en intensiewe proses. Hierdie proses word voorts bemoeilik deur onvoldoende en ongetoetsde patentreg-wetgewing. Wanneer die doel van sagtewareontwikkeling winsbejag is, is leweringspoed na gebruikers van die uiterste belang aangesien menige mededinger die vermoë het om 'n model na te boots en te verbeter. Gedurende die afgelope jaar het 'n ontwikkelingspan bestaande uit Phillip Munday, Chris Vietri en die skrywer 'n werksmodel van 'n gesofistikeerde, krediet-evalueri ng sagteware modelontwikkel. Nie net is hierdie model deurgevoer tot 'n gefasseerde, interne implementering nie; dit is nou vêr genoeg ontwikkel om die intellektuele eiendomsreg te verkoop aan 'n groep wat toegespits is op die bemarking van bankgerigte sagteware op 'n wêreldwye basis. Dit is bykans onmoontlik vir een persoon om 'n soortgelyke model te ontwikkel weens die omvattende finansiëIe - en bankpraktyk kennis wat vereis word. Verdere vereistes is 'n deeglike kennis van sagteware argitektuur en programmering. Die implimentering en verkoop van die program vereis ook wye kundigheid op die gebiede van projekbestuur en vernuwingsbestuur weens die potensiële strukturele veranderinge in 'n nuwe gebruiker. Elkeen van die 3 partye het benewens sy eie kundigheid ook 'n oorsigtige bydrae gelewer tot die finale model. Soos met elke projek van hierdie omvang was daar groot struikelblokke. Die uitdagings is oorkom deur menige probeerslae en die model is betyds aan die besigheid bekendgestel. Die implimentering was moeiliker as verwag maar deur 'n gefasseerde proses en omvattende opleiding en ondersteuning is aanvaarding deur gebruikers verseker. Daar is enkele, onopgelosde tegniese probleme soos die swak werkverrigting oor 'n wye' area-netwerk en die moeilike integrasie met bestaande stelsels. Desnieteenstaande het die model die meeste verwagtinge oortref. Dit is maklik om te gebruik, dit verseker deeglike krediet-evaluering en dit skep die geleentheid om veelvuldige sensitiwiteitsanalises tegelykertyd te doen. Die modeI is nou in sy finale weergawe en is bekend as " Version 1.0 " maar dit vereis nog heelwat skaafwerk. As 'n bank is ons nie geskik om sagteware te voorsien nie en daarom moet die verkoop van die intellektuele eiendomsreg na 'n tussenparty bespoedig word. Dit sal verhoed dat ons bank se betrokkenheid met agterdog deur plaaslike banke bejeën word. Wanneer dit bewerkstellig is en die finale implimenteringsfase is voltooi teen Maart 2001, kan ons beweeg na die opwindende taak om afgeleide modelle te ontwikkel wat sal voldoen aan wyer sektor-behoeftes.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49683
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