City Group Case Study

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Location


London, UK

Completion Date


2009

Sector


Banking & Finance

Introduction


The Client is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York.

The Challenges


The organisation’s Global Equities Trading Business had been dependent upon
numerous critical business applications, sitting on an underlying IT infrastructure, provided by the Technology Infrastructure (CTI) department (a central group within the organisation). The business wanted to improve IT service provision – the delivery of these services had been falling below business expectations – by enhancing its services to achieve availability, agility, security, accountability, and technology excellence.

In order to analyse the value and performance of its infrastructure services, PTS Consulting (PTS) was engaged to deliver an independent review, with focus on:

  • Total cost of service
  • Transparency of these costs
  • Availability of Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • Agility of service delivery
  • Design and adoption of controls that impact service cost and quality
  • Potential for third party provider to take on IT infrastructure services

The Client’s expectations of the project were:

  • A gap analysis between the services received and those desired
  • An understanding of the current infrastructure services marketplace to meet the technical and operational requirements
  • A view on the potential costs and implications to source the desired services from external providers
  • An understanding of reasonable costs for the services

PTS Solutions


PTS engaged with the Client’s organisation to provide Business Transformation
Consulting on a global level across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific within New York, North Carolina, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

 

Discovery
The PTS discovery process looked to clarify and detail technology services which Global Equities required and gain an understanding of the strategic business direction. In discussions with the Client, it became clear that the deliverables would be best accomplished by PTS performing a high-level review of the platforms in question to gain an understanding of the ideal technical and operational
environment in which to operate. The focus was on applications with common operational and technical requirements resulting in application tiers with similar characteristics.

The discovery leveraged a blend of subjective and objective approaches including interviews, workshops, objective discovery efforts, and tool creation, during the execution of an RFI Market Capability Analysis.

Aspirational Model

The purpose of the aspirational model was to describe the Client’s ideal platforms, operational requirements and interactions with an IT infrastructure service provider/application host. PTS defined the optimal environment and documented a set of operational and technology requirements. PTS used its knowledge of the industry to contextualise the current operating environment, reviewing it
against Global Equities’ strategic direction along operational, technological, and business axes. The model defined how IT could be delivered in a manner that satisfied the Global Equities’ business objectives, met the need for economical delivery, financial transparency and was in alignment with the Global Equities’ core principles for technology delivery.

Gap Analysis

PTS provided an assessment of IT infrastructure delivery and an understanding of the open market capability to deliver services in line with Global EQ requirements. This comparative view highlighted the areas where the current state did not match up to the desired state including a description of the impacts of the gaps identified. The basis for the comparison was industry best practice combined with the Aspirational Model. PTS provided the Client with valuable insight into its IT maturity across strategy, structure, process, people and technology.

RFI Market Capability Report

This compared the Client’s current service provision to that of the market. This exercise demonstrated that the maturity of the market was not yet at the right level to support the infrastructure services required by the application services portfolio.

Recommendations

Based on its findings, PTS was able to offer alternative recommendations to achieve the desired operational state. Following the advice from PTS, the Client decided to retain its IT services in-house to achieve improved Total Cost of Ownership and a greater level of flexibility and control. This would provide the business with the opportunity to resolve the challenges identified while allowing the third party providers to mature their services and Global Equities to develop the requisite capabilities to manage an outsourcing engagement, if required, in the future.

The Result


The business now has a clear path to match its IT infrastructure service to its strategic business requirements. PTS was able to make recommendations and provide a roadmap that will enable the Client to deliver lasting change in an improved IT infrastructure service environment.

The Verdict: The Head of Equities Trading and COO commented:
“We needed a partner that not only understood the world of the trading floor, but that could also engage cohesively with our senior management on a global scale. PTS was that partner. Before undertaking the strategic review, there was a disconnect between the IT service and our business strategy. We thought we wanted to outsource our IT service, but PTS has helped us to define a better
roadmap for improvement. The aspirational model PTS helped to build has given us a clear direction on how to transform our business to make the delivery of IT services more flexible and disciplined – with objectively defined goals and an improved environment in which to manage our services. We now also have a good understanding of the direction that the market is taking in the next 12 to 18 months.”

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