Information Technology Projects Course

Professor Arthur Goldberg
Computer Science Department
NYU
Fall 2005
Project proposal

Bank of America

Company description

As their web site states, this summarizes the Bank of America:

B of A has 5,880 branches and 16,687 ATMs in 29 states and international offices in 31 countries supporting clients across 150 countries. B of A employs about 177,000 people worldwide. For the second quarter of 2005, Bank of America earned $4.30 billion.
Bank of America has four main business segments:

Our client will be the architecture team within Bank of America's Corporate and Institutional unit, which focuses on investment banking, trading, capital raising, and capital management.

Proposal: Investigate and Evaluate the Benefits and Risks of Using Open Source Software

Open source software is code that is distributed free of charge. Many open source programs have become widely used. These include Linux, OpenOffice, Mozilla, the Apache Web server, Java and MySQL and many others.

Large organizations, like the Bank of America, should carefully evaluate and compare the benefits with the costs and risks before deploying any software, especially for 'mission-critical' applications. With respect to Linux they've already made this evaluation, and decided to use it.

Open source software presents a set of issues to evaluate that differs from that of commercial software. This project aims to begin that investigation for the Bank of America. In particular, we would like to learn about and report on the following issues.

The primary benefit of open source software is obviously that it costs nothing. The bank would like us to analyze this benefit by classifying the top commercial applications and platforms which can be replaced by open source products and quantifying their potential savings. Naturally, this should focus on applications in use by the bank.

Because the risks and costs of open source software differ greatly from those of commercial software they warrant significant investigation. Methods for mitigating the risks also require research. In this area we've been asked to investigate the following.


Given open source software's benefits and costs, and risks and risk mitigation approaches, we will strive to identify appropriate circumstances for their use.


One way to learn more about the benefits, costs and risks of open source software would be to learn about its current usage at the Bank of America's competitors. We will survey them, and try to learn about how they approach these issues:


This project's deliverables will be reports and presentations.

Intern address

Bank of America

335 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Authorizing manager

Susan E. Green, susan.e.green -at- bankofamerica -dot- com

Project manager

Boris Zavlin, boris.zavlin -at- bankofamerica -dot- com, 212.503.8004

Meeting hours

Regular business hours (8-5 M-F)

Resources that will be made available to students

The bank is tight on space, so it would be helpful if the team could do their work at home or NYU. The course can provide space and computing at NYU if necessary.

Susan, Boris and their team will be available for weekly meetings. They can provide access to the bank's data on a pre-arranged basis, and discuss any other needs (meeting space etc.).