Case studies

Financial Services IT Transformation

Helping a financial services organisation to transform its IT to support the business’s growth strategy

key fact

A financial services SME with 1200 users across multiple sites in the UK and Channel Islands, responsible for over GBP30 billion of funds under management.

IT maturity assessment to understand existing business challenges and define a fit-for-purpose IT strategy & transformation programme


The newly appointed CIO wanted an independent review of the IT department to assess the governance, processes and technology. The business had experienced a period of rapid growth within a short timeframe – doubling in size over four years – with an objective to continue increasing profitable growth. The CIO needed to understand whether the IT department could support and facilitate the business’s growth ambitions.

As is common with organisations that expand rapidly, the IT department faced challenges around the costs, controls and governance, and needed to provide a more consistent service to its users. Like many financial services organisations, access to business applications that support decision making is the priority, and any challenges in scaling up could affect business revenue.

Mason Advisory was invited to assess the IT department’s current capability maturity, to develop a fit-for-purpose IT strategy, and to design a programme of work to transform the IT department over the next three years.


Working with the CIO and Transformation Manager, we assessed the current processes, technology, tools and ways of working. This included current architecture, infrastructure, applications, cybersecurity, data, service management and operating model capabilities against our maturity assessment methodology. We benchmarked performance and proposed a target level of maturity, that was the best fit for the size and complexity of the IT department. Finally, we defined and created a plan for transformation activities, and created a transformation roadmap, with timescales, dependencies and associated business cases.

The assessments were performed against a CMMI best-practice framework with the objective of assessing the current maturity levels, while highlighting strengths and priority development areas. The assessments were performed by our subject matter experts through interviews and assessments with key client resources and document reviews. This was supported by our research and insights into industry trends, as well as our experience and lessons learned from previous experience and case studies.

The transformation was prioritised and with a realistic pace of change, linked to our client’s risk appetite and dependencies on existing projects and change activity, to mitigate the risk of change fatigue.


Mason Advisory led, co-ordinated and delivered an IT benchmark that enabled the CIO and Transformation Manager to assess the current IT maturity, and to understand the planned transformation objectives. We highlighted hotspots and quick wins which were identified to realise benefits, and put checks in place to reduce the number of issues through strong governance controls. We also advised on the use of virtualisation to ensure the business benefits from agile, scalable, cost-effective platforms as it grows.

We presented a prioritised list of actions that enabled the CIO to understand the dependencies on initiatives, resources and capabilities. This helped assess the demand required from resources, compared to existing capability and to prioritise new hires to fill resource and skills gaps.

The transformation was designed to improve service, promote cost efficiency, financial transparency, and to provide innovations in support for end users. The recommendations also covered better management of supply chain and the development of a centre of excellence for IT service management within the IT department.

The recommendations led to the creation of a specific IT transformation programme, which is now being delivered.

Mason Advisory is managing a number of transformation work streams and continues to act as a trusted adviser to the CIO.

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