Case Study: IT Efficiency and Opportunity Analysis


CBO worked with a Channel Islands-based Trust and Fiduciary company, who are focused on establishing themselves as a forward-thinking and efficient leader in their market.

The client was aware aware that their IT function included ‘legacy characteristics’ and was not seen as fit-for-purpose for where the company wanted to go in terms of growth and efficiency. CBO were engaged to assist the client in ensuring their IT strategy was aligned to and would enable the business strategy.

CBO’s Work:

To assess the opportunities available to the client, CBO needed to understand the strategic intent for their IT function.  As the client had not fully articulated this, CBO’s approach to the project was centered on the rapid formation of a Target Operating Model (TOM).  CBO’s developed a methodology that was based on three clear deliverables within the context of their business strategy and IT environment:

  • Context Analysis 
  • Opportunity Analysis 
  • Options Analysis.  

The first stage of CBO’s work was the creation of the Context Analysis.  The purpose of this was to identify and validate the clients strategic intent for its IT function, and convert that intent into a set of actionable statements about how IT could or should be delivered.

In order to deliver this, CBO first reviewed all existing IT strategies and plans, and interviewed key managers.  This ‘as is analysis’ allowed for the population of a Strategic Assumptions Framework: a structured model that supported the articulation of ‘implicit assumptions’ held by the company about the role of IT.  This model was based on the McKinsey ‘7s Model’, to help ensure that it described all dimensions of the clients strategic intent for IT.

Once CBO had validated the Strategic Assumptions Framework with the clients management team, it was used to populate an ‘IT Strategic Roles Model’.  Developed from IBM’s definitions of the different roles that an IT function can play within an organisation, this provided a ‘heuristic’ approach for the aspects of its IT function that the client should seek to develop, preserve, or dispense with.

The IT Strategic Roles Model was used by CBO in the second stage of its work, the Opportunity Analysis.  The purpose of this analysis was to identify those opportunities for cost saving that were most appropriate for the client to pursue, given the high-level TOM that CBO had created.  This analysis was based around CBO’s IT Opportunity Matrix.  This is a structured taxonomy of 29 means of increasing the efficiency of an IT function, developed from industry best practice and the experience of CBO and its clients. Using our understanding of the clients strategic intent for IT, we were able to ‘triage’ these opportunities, excluding those that conflicted with the TOM, and focusing on those which had not been included in the clients internally developed plan.

This enabled CBO to identify 7 key opportunities that we recommended that the client pursue.  We then conducted the final stage of our work, the Options Analysis, to build a clear implementation plan for the client.  This focused on avoiding conflict between mutually-exclusive options, and the ordering of those with set inter-dependencies.

CBO’s Impact :

Each step of this project was successful.

The Context Analysis identified that the client had a complex and varied set of requirements for its IT function. CBO and the client co-developed a nuanced understanding of the latter’s strategic intent for IT that the business had not previously understood or articulated.

This understanding helped CBO prioritise a set of 7 opportunities that the client could pursue.  These focused on application costs, staffing costs and managing the cost of change.  In total, these 7 opportunities were modeled to have a cumulative annual financial benefit into the several hundreds of thousands.

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