Global engineering services revenue has been expanding at a CAGR of 3.9% over the past five years and is expected to total $1.7 trillion in 2023. (Source, IBIS World, July 2023)
Our client is a global engineering firm, employing nearly 12,000 people in dozens of countries. In 2020, the business comprised three main divisions, each responsible for its own Information Service & Technology (IS&T) delivery. A central, ‘light-touch’ governance function oversaw operations, but each division remained largely autonomous in its IS&T decisions and expenditure.
Our client had an ambitious strategy for growth and needed to unify its global IT&S ecosystem to support delivery of those plans. The board therefore appointed a new CIO, charged with developing a new IT&S Transformation Programme and Operating Model. The CIO had a strong partnership history of successful programme delivery with Mason Advisory, and so approached us again to engage our support in tackling the strategic approach plus technical, operational, and cultural change considerations.
This client clearly understood the role of IS&T in underpinning the firm’s strategy for growth. However, the existing IT governance model would potentially limit the firm’s ability to maximise expansion opportunities, while siloed IT&S delivery approaches did not align to support the overall strategic plan.
The business needed to build a unified IT&S capability fit to enable its growth ambitions. It needed to win stakeholder confidence in the ability of IS&T to scale with the business. And it needed to re-evaluate the bottom line, identifying opportunities for cost-efficiencies to allow for diverted investment into new growth initiatives.
Previous attempts to unify global IT services had highlighted cultural challenges across different geographies, divisions, and ways of working. So, it was vital to build a cohesive transformation roadmap that would encourage all divisions to invest in, and take ownership of, their role. Achieving that required a focus on stakeholder engagement and cultural management, as well as the technical, architectural, and commercial skills to articulate and validate the building blocks of the transformation.
To meet the scope of the challenge, we seconded a team of experienced consultants into the firm, who immersed themselves into the organisation, and very quickly understood the divisional cultures and challenges. We facilitated a series of discovery initiatives to understand the issues from the inside out and encourage stakeholder engagement. Regular replays enabled the CIO to strengthen buy-in for the change process across the entire group. This was achieved by regularly communicating tangible progress on building the strategy, and demonstrating momentum on critical activities moving into delivery.
Meanwhile, we conducted a bottom-up assessment of spending models across the three divisions plus the group as a whole. We identified opportunities for both divisional and group-wide cost-efficiencies, generating unprecedented visibility over how investment and expenditure streams align to the intended business benefits.
We also worked with our client to design a hybrid methodology that would ensure appropriate IT&S governance without hindering decision making and implementation. We embedded Agile principles to motivate teams by enabling quick wins and results, while reinforcing wider confidence in IS&T’s capacity to deliver change on time, within budget, and within the business’s risk appetite.
All of this was fed into the overall IS&T Transformation Programme and Operating Model. These were supported by a comprehensive business case, articulating the change initiatives, benefits, costs, risks, and value, and equipping the board to sanction the CIO’s proposed direction of travel.
The new strategy and business case was approved by the board and implementation began in early 2020. The strategy provided the foundations on which to build much more reliable and secure core technology services. It also gave assurance to the business that IS&T could scale with the ambitions of the group. The strategy identified opportunities to reduce annual run spend by 25% of like for like operational run costs, bringing IS&T spend within industry benchmarks. This has allowed reinvestment into modern core services to support the transformation to a unified global IT&S model.
In partnership with the CIO, our inclusive approach ensured that the stakeholders who must ultimately deliver have bought into the transformation. Only a couple of months after the strategy was finalised, we saw its impact at work. When the first pandemic lockdown hit, our client was equipped to pivot and adapt quickly using our hybrid delivery methodology. We are delighted to have supported this client through a complex cultural and technical journey. It has given them the strategic IS&T framework and flexibility to deliver sustainable value, whatever opportunities or disruption may lie ahead.
“I valued their practitioner-led approach and had a high level of trust in their ability to deliver. They didn’t disappoint – the Mason Advisory team showed amazing commitment during the project, often going above and beyond to deliver high quality outcomes. They understood the scope of the challenge and offered solutions that we could flex with…the team demonstrated excellent engagement skills, building a strong rapport with the internal IT team, and gaining their respect.”
CIO, representing our client