Building an IT platform for a leading financial institution

A large multinational financial company was searching for a new IT platform for transaction processing and they asked us to help design and implement the new technology. In Prague, we have a branch of McKinsey’s Digital McKinsey, which specializes in advising clients on how to get the most from their IT investments. In response to the client’s request, we put together a team of consultants from Digital McKinsey.

The team’s first task was to find out how the client could quickly introduce new products, the key to remaining competitive. The client realized that competition was increasing fast and knew they needed to respond with new products and vast improvement on service and speed. However, every new product took months to implement, sometimes even years.

Through extensive analysis we found the two root causes of the long lead time to market:

The IT systems were hard to maintain, partly because they were 30 years old, so no one actually knew them end-to-end;

The business people were too imprecise in what they actually needed, which meant that IT was delivering according to their own best guesses and business people were complaining afterwards.

After some tough board meeting discussions, we decided to run a large engagement that would tackle both points: business users and IT developers creating a new platform together. The collaboration was hard at first – the two sides barely spoke to each other. By using workshops and team-building events, the team gradually came together and finally became a high-performing organization.

The new software is now successfully running, allowing the company to introduce new products more quickly and serve the clients better.