Knowledge Worker Automation
A European Tier 1 bank approached Citihub to help streamline its global IT support operations as part of a broader cost-efficiency drive. The bank had set itself a target of reducing annual spend on IT support by 10 percent on a recurring basis. To achieve this, it sought to identify ways that certain tasks could be automated so as to minimise the need for manual intervention. Ultimately, the targeted cost reduction would come from a combination of reduced headcount in its in-house support operations and reduced third-party vendor costs through contractual levers and re-negotiation of contracts.
Although the bank’s global IT support operations were centralised under one organisational structure, the project would touch on a very wide range of stakeholders – spanning all the bank’s business silos, along with all relevant application and infrastructure owners.
How Citihub Helped
Citihub began the project by conducting a thorough examination of the bank’s IT support functions. Our consultants analysed log files containing hundreds of thousands of support enquiries relating to approximately 2,500 unique applications, along with the manual tasks IT Support staff undertook supporting those applications. That analysis provided the bank with a detailed understanding of the manual tasks and processes that existing support personnel were performing. These were categorised into a set of common themes – from user permissions and password resets, through to troubleshooting and monitoring, along with a frequency profile of how often each task was performed.
Our consultants then began to work with IT support and application development delivery teams to profile each task, defining how easily they could be automated and quantifying the potential cost savings that would arise from such automation. The bank had set a strict hurdle rate, meaning that any investment in automating a task had to be no more than 1.6x the recurring annual cost saving. By filtering out opportunities that did not meet this criterion, Citihub helped the bank focus on areas that brought the fastest benefits to its bottom line. But identifying the right tasks was only half the challenge.
Citihub then went about implementing the project all the way through to completion – creating a book of work that detailed all tasks to be automated, getting approval from relevant application and budget owners to implement changes, managing the development and implementation of automated processes, all the way through to final reductions in headcount and realisation of cost savings.
Identifying the right cost saving opportunities
Citihub analysed thousands of manual tasks being conducted across the bank’s global IT support operations to identify those that would provide the best returns if automated. By identifying tasks that met the bank’s strict hurdle rate for investment, Citihub ensured the project would remain focused on delivering its target – a substantial reduction in operating costs without any degradation of service.
Developing workforce automation specifications
Citihub developed detailed business cases for how the bank could realise those savings. From proposed changes to in-house applications through to automated monitoring response tools to pre-empt support queries, our consultants provided a detailed book of work that explained how the bank would realise its targets.
Managing the project through to completion
With a project that spanned multiple business silos, regions and stakeholders, having an experienced team of consultants to drive and execute change was critical. Citihub provided just that, bridging relationships across IT support, application and infrastructure owners, finance and HR – to make sure that there was consensus in how to move forward. From analysis and identification, through to agreement, sign off, delivery and implementation, Citihub helped ensure the project remained on track and ultimately delivered its target of significant sustainable run-rate reductions to provide lasting improvement to the bank’s bottom line.
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