This client is a U.S.-based financial empowerment company that offers Banking as a Service and commercial finance business lines, providing end-to-end support to individuals and businesses.
The company wanted to modernize its IT organization to achieve greater alignment with its business to meet ongoing growth objectives.
Protiviti supported the client’s efforts through three key project phases: defining an initial IT strategy and target operating model, enabling value stream-focused Lean portfolio management, and analyzing the company’s software development and information security delivery models.
The client grew earnings per share by 30% and increased its efficiency ratio by 4%. Technology development time required to onboard a partner was cut from 12 months to six weeks, while also doubling the number of partners onboarded.
A new technology philosophy
As one of the top money-moving banks in the U.S., this client’s payment processing systems move billions of dollars in ACH and wire transfers each day. This makes having the right data, readily available, and seamless data integration with all third-party partners a necessity. Building that fully abstracted data integration layer would prove to be one of the most important challenges for this project team.
Defining the path: Modernization to transformation
This project focused on the company’s efforts to modernize its IT organization and achieve greater alignment with its business partners as their business model evolved. The project included three key phases of support, starting with an initial IT strategy and target operating model definition, transitioning to enabling value stream-focused Lean portfolio management and then a deeper dive analysis into the software development and information security delivery models. The outcomes of these efforts included increased adoption of agile practices, restructuring of legacy functions (like the enterprise PMO) to drive more business value, and increased connection between IT and business executive leadership teams.
With initiatives identified to drive the company forward, the next step would leverage a strategic operating model, building a rounded understanding of requirements and investment prioritization, while shifting the culture’s focus to delivering a customer experience-centric digital transformation. As a B2B2C organization, the company wanted to highlight its then-new brand promise while improving the overall consumer and employee experience. It also wanted to close the gap that existed between its business goals and an execution model that favored many small wins over an enterprise-focused set of strategic priorities.
Four key assessments were conducted in parallel over a span of ten weeks, which included targeted analyses of technology strategic alignment and governance, operational processes, organizational capabilities and performance data to identify areas of transformation opportunity. The outcome, a future state operating model and prioritized roadmap, would both enable the transition from an operations focus to a business-enabling technology function while transitioning the functionally-siloed IT organization away from its 'utility’ mindset.
New tools and process changes on the way to success
The most significant challenge throughout the transformation project was building a standardized data model and cleaning data from ingestion to downstream data reporting and analytics. Compliance processes and testing were also automated.
Throughout, the company was focused on building an integrated technology model and recognized how challenging it can be to drive transformation across an organization that is adjusting to rapid change in many facets of the business. As a result, they:
- Established a business transformation office, reporting to the CTO; this office is focused on aligning portfolio management, aligning risk and lean based process re-engineering.
- Implemented a new goals framework with clear one- and three-year objectives, aligned across the company; all portfolio investment decisions are now made with these goals in mind.
- Created a formal product management organization, reporting to the CTO; the company now works across all divisions and stakeholders to define clear customer journeys and create go-to-market ready, customer-facing products, services and solutions.
About a year after the company began their IT transformation, it closed a substantial deal that required a new company name. A major rebranding quickly began, and, in just ten months, the company created a new brand and implemented a new digital marketing platform in which over 200 applications and mobile apps were updated. The rebranding also included extensive acceleration of cloud investment, impacting all internal development and migration of over 100 company partners. This effort replaced several decades-old, noncompliant websites, rebuilding them on a single, branded site. Fortunately, the IT transformation work they had done with Protiviti helped empower them to handle that major business challenge.
During the transformation project, the IT team focused on pattern optimizing innovation to drive efficiencies, enabling investments in new products and services. The company now provides a very stable foundation for its partners to innovate and manage risk, which helps it reach markets core to its mission that it would otherwise not be able to serve.
This transformation has been a journey of ‘unexpected’ innovation, as the IT team’s successes encouraged the company to transform its business model, which ultimately prepared the client for its new customer-facing brand. An important win was the establishment of an innovation office that engages in design thinking work with partners to begin co-innovating on go-to-market solutions. The Chief Technology and Product Officer also partnered closely with the company’s People and Culture team to implement new talent management strategies to increase employee engagement while supporting the operating model.
In total, following both the work done to modernize the IT organization and the unexpected rebranding, the client has seen impressive results:
- Efficiency ratio improved by 4%
- Earnings per share grew by 30%
- Doubled the number of partners integrated into its new technology
- Reduced the time to onboard a new partner from 12 months to about six weeks, improving time to first revenue
- Improved IT employee engagement scores by 60 points
- Reduced IT employee turnover to less than 10%
- An expanded shift to remote work allows the client to hire talent from all over the U.S.; the current IT team represents 41 states versus four states on the pre-transformation team
- 50% of all IT new hires are diversity candidates
The people benefits cited above were generated by the successful IT transformation while the impressive business results can be tied to the rebranding project, which was effectively supported and accelerated by the transformed IT organization. Protiviti’s guidance supported this client through the execution of its transformation roadmap.
Impact by the Numbers:
Growth in EPS
Current IT employee turnover
Diversity candidates among IT new hires
This transformation has been a journey that expanded from its initial focus on IT methodologies and systems to encouraging the company to transform its business model.