KA2’s client is a globally recognised investment bank that offers risk management, trading solutions and debt financing to help address its customers’ challenges. The bank launched a company-wide digital transformation initiative driven by a regulatory requirement to separate its investment arm from the retail side of its business. KA2 were engaged to lead the design, implementation, and operation of their chosen Service Management platform, ServiceNow.
Going “live” with any new technology is just the first step in delivering its full strategic benefits. To deliver maximum value, technology must interface effectively and seamlessly with other platforms and tools, as well as the processes and activities they support. To overcome these common challenges, the implementation of the new ITSM platform marked just the beginning of our client’s journey to achieve its future Target Operating Model. The key was to have a clear and documented roadmap for enhanced functionality and benefits to deliver Continuous Service Improvement (CSI).
KA2’s Smarter Framework ensures that any change project delivers an evergreen solution, transitioning IT operations from predominantly manual to predominantly automated processes driven by intelligent software.
In line with the overall CSI objective of the Smarter Framework, KA2 focused on two key areas to achieve sustainable benefits for the bank:
Effective testing is a key component to achieving an optimal evergreen cost-efficient operating model and improving DevOps agility. Testing on the ServiceNow platform commonly becomes a very time-consuming, inefficient and resource-dependent overhead. To overcome this challenge, KA2 recommended that automated testing be an integral part of the platform development strategy.
KA2’s experience and market knowledge, allied to feedback from members of the KA2 Smarter ITSM Forum, enabled us to recommend a highly trusted testing partner, AutomatePro. We were confident that AutomatePro offered the right solution for the bank to effectively support both KA2 and in-house development activities and provide a robust foundation for the overall testing function.
AutomatePro’s tool met the bank’s need to provide fully auditable testing results and ensure that the results were traceable back to business requirements. Additionally, the tool could introduce automation in the testing phase of the release lifecycle and improve other manual and time-consuming tasks, such as the creation of system documentation, user guides and requirements documents. Importantly, the tool could operate in an agile development environment with new functionality being released into production every few weeks.
Utilising a set of the bank’s use cases designed by KA2, AutomatePro conducted a comprehensive demo and the product’s benefits became quickly evident. As a result, KA2 managed the rapid implementation of the AutomatePro tool, which immediately helped the ITSM team to build the automated test cases alongside the agile development process. Regression tests ensured that there were no unintended consequences of the many changes being introduced, with full regression testing scheduled on a regular basis.
Guided by the Smarter Framework, KA2 worked with the client to introduce the right tooling to support and drive up productivity, while driving down costs. The combination of KA2’s highly skilled team of developers and solution architects with the AutomatePro tool helped our client achieve a 27% increase in developer productivity within the first three months of implementing the automated testing strategy, with a realistic target of 50% productivity improvement by the end of the project. In real terms, this level of improvement has enabled a monthly release cycle moving to a ‘release when ready’ model. This was all achieved with 45% fewer development resources. The use of AutomatePro ensured that defects were promptly identified and fixed prior to release. Additionally, the tool enabled rapid end-to-end testing, significantly reducing the time involved compared with manual testing and removing dependency on other support teams.
The release success is 100%, with no failures caused by inadequate testing. Importantly, the bank has been able to meet its audit and compliance requirements, showing full end-to-end testing evidence for change approvals, whilst achieving its lean workforce objective, with one tester across the whole platform and ITSM function. KA2 introduced further stringent processes for building and onboarding further capabilities and scoped applications in the ServiceNow platform and AutomatePro test cases are now an integral part of the early development lifecycle.
Based on the success of its ServiceNow platform and the workflows it supports, KA2 continues to guide the bank to improve operations and quickly adopt the technologies needed to fulfil its digital strategy.
Automated and standardised testing for ServiceNow releases, with fully auditable supporting evidence to ensure all change and regulatory controls are consistently met.
Radically reduced the dependency on business users for time-consuming UAT, and rapidly accelerated the release of new features and capabilities into production.
Significantly improved the release lifecycle moving to an agile ‘release when ready’ DevOps operating model, whilst building a sustainable lean resource and cost- efficient operating model.
Quality assurance in a financial services organisation needs to be absolutely fail safe, so that we carry as little risk as possible. KA2 and AutomatePro worked seamlessly together to provide the perfect combination of speed with high quality delivery.