Case studies

Facilitating transformational technology decision-making for a global professional services firm

key fact

This global audit and accountancy partnership is head-quartered in Europe and works globally across 90+ countries with a workforce of more than 40,000 staff.

Our client is a leading global professional services firm, operating in nearly half the world’s countries across every continent. A workforce of 40,000 professionals delivers a range of sector-specific services in nine key verticals. Over many years, our client has consistently grown its portfolio to meet customers’ evolving needs, generating a multi-billion-euro revenue year on year. 

Leading into 2020, our client developed an enterprise-wide forward strategy, designed to deliver a more integrated organisation within four years. The strategy is built on four pillars: aligning the partnership structure, leveraging size, supporting innovation, and protecting the brand. Key to supporting these goals is the delivery of a common architectural framework for technology, applications, data, and collaboration. In May 2020, Mason Advisory was engaged to help our client articulate the specific challenges, complexities and opportunities associated with the IT strategy. We were also asked to recommend a change roadmap, so that the executive leadership could consider and steer the necessary transformation with confidence in its outcomes. 


Our client is governed by a Global Country Coalition and Global Executive Board. However, historically, each country has independently managed its own platform architecture, IT service management and IT sourcing. This has created various challenges that were preventing our client from achieving its IT strategy goals.  

Key constraints included: difficulty collaborating between countries using different platforms, inability to leverage economies of scale, difficulty innovating and responding to market conditions, and difficulty obtaining accreditations requiring globally aligned standards. Our client’s leadership understood that these technology challenges would directly affect the firm’s ability to support its overall strategic goals. They therefore needed a detailed picture of their current technology landscape, an assessment of their readiness to move from disparate platforms to common architecture, a map of the delivery journey, and to understand the costs versus benefits of such an ambitious global transformation.


We began by performing an investigation and analysis of the current technical architecture. For efficiency and relevance, we focused on our client’s five Global Coalition Countries, representing forty percent of the firm’s workforce. However, we also ensured that our recommendations could be scaled out across the entire global partner base. 

Our approach included in-depth interviews, workshops, data gathering and reviews. We incorporated the voices of our client’s leadership, partners and customers, bringing the findings together into common themes. Crucially, we aimed to give the Global Executive Board a deep, holistic insight into what it is like working for, and with, their organisation. It was important to align the technology transformation to the needs of those who deliver, and benefit from, their services, as well as to drive efficiency and cost benefits. 

We worked with our client’s Architecture Team to build a target common architecture model, drawing on their input, our own expertise, and market intelligence from our professional relationships. Having validated our assumptions with key stakeholders, we designed a four-year roadmap to guide our client through their journey via a series of key delivery milestones. 

Importantly, we highlighted a number of strategic headlines. We identified the potential of common core architecture to drive global collaboration, simplicity, and efficiency, while still supporting distinct, country-specific services where needed. We recommended an agile approach to deliver clear, tangible benefits throughout the programme’s implementation. 

Crucially, we recognised that successful delivery would depend not just on technical change, but on significant cultural change driven by our client’s Global Executive Board. We recommended fostering a culture of collaboration, introducing graded architectural governance, managing risk, maintaining continuity during the change, and establishing strong executive sponsorship. To support this, we made practical recommendations for developing the organisational structure, roles and responsibilities needed to ensure the programme’s successful delivery. 

We also produced a comprehensive business case for the four-year programme, demonstrating both the strategic and the cost benefits that could be generated from the significant work and investment required.  


With our support, our client’s internal leadership presented the report, recommendations, and roadmap to the Global Executive Board in October 2020. Our proposals extended far beyond the original remit of the IT strategy. Our report provided the board with valuable insights into why such a comprehensive transformation was needed, the business benefits it would generate, how the transformation should be delivered, the level of investment required, and the economies of scale that could be achieved. 

This thorough approach gave the Global Executive Board confidence that the proposed transformation programme was the right course to benefit customers, staff, and the bottom line. As a result, the board provided a clear, immediate mandate to mobilise the work. Mason Advisory was invited to continue in our role and support the programme’s delivery. As of January 2021, our client was looking to a future where the firm’s global IT architecture will directly support delivery of the overall business strategy, and ensure that staff and customers enjoy the benefits of modern, seamless IT services and functions. 

Mason Advisory combined business and technical know-how to help us identify a strategic roadmap and business case for the future of IT delivery across the partnership. Their professional and flexible approach to working alongside us, was key to winning the confidence of the Executive Board and, ultimately, approval of the multi-million-euro transformation programme we are now delivering.“

Chief Architect for our Client

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