Citihub Consulting has built an excellent reputation helping every kind of financial institution solve complex business and technology challenges. The skills and expertise developed in our engagements have proved highly relevant in delivering successful large-scale projects in other sectors, including government, education, legal, gaming & healthcare services.
Mitigating Operational Risk for Leading Hedge Fund
One of the world’s top three hedge funds by assets under management approached Citihub Consulting to help with an inhouse desktop migration project. This had a very important deadline; existing desktops were running on Windows XP, and Microsoft had set an end-of-life date for the operating system. Senior management had decided the operational risk of running an un-supported operating system was too high, and it was critical that all migrations were completed before that date. The hedge fund needed to migrate approximately 3,800 desktops from XP to Windows 7, but was struggling to plan the migration and get buy-in from users, meaning that several key project milestones had already been missed.
How Citihub Consulting Helped
Citihub Consulting began by conducting a detailed assessment of desktop configurations and an inventory of all applications (along with relevant version information), that were being supported across the firm. In total, the hedge fund was supporting approximately 8,000 distinct applications, including multiple version releases for some. In order to help accelerate the migration project, our consultants devised a strategy that would greatly reduce disparity in application versioning, and sought buy-in from all relevant stakeholders in the process – from desktop users across the firm, to IT support personnel. In addition to simplifying the range of applications that had to be supported, Citihub also drove the development of automated provisioning tools that would greatly improve the speed and accuracy of the desktop configuration process. Our consultants profiled different user groups, and defined application requirements for each group, helping to provide standardised application packages that could be installed and configured automatically. In the end, the project met all its stated objectives, ensuring that the operational risk of running an un-supported operating system was mitigated. Throughout the process, Citihub’s consultants were on hand to manage systems testing and user acceptance testing, enabling end users to migrate smoothly onto the new environment without any hiccups or loss of functionality.
Elimination of operational risk
Running an un-supported operating system can be a serious operational risk for any firm. So the end-of-life of the Windows XP desktop operating system triggered a significant change program with a hard deadline for completion. Citihub successfully managed the migration of 3,800 desktops to the new O/S – ensuring all risks were mitigated.
Simplifying and optimising processes
Before the hedge fund engaged with Citihub, its IT support staff had managed all new desktop builds manually and did not support standard user profiles for different staff roles. Citihub changed that, helping to standardise both application versions and user profiles, and helping to automate the process. By the end of the project, the firm had consolidated the number of applications it had to support – from 8,000 down to 1,000. The time taken to provision a desktop went down from eight hours to just 40 minutes, and the accuracy of that provisioning improved from 60% to 99%.
On time and on budget
When Citihub Consulting was called in, the project had already missed several key milestones, and internal IT staff were still struggling to agree on a path forward. Citihub helped mobilise all the fund’s internal IT resources and get buy-in from desktop users, maintaining open lines of communication at all times and ensuring timely delivery. In the end, a complex project that had fallen behind on its timeline was delivered on time, on budget and to the satisfaction of end users.