Leading International Investment Bank enhances its Service Management Platform with KA2 and AutomatePro


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

The Challenge

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).

The Solution

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:

  • Processes and Workflows: The introduction of the ServiceNow platform had an impact on the processes it supported. An in-depth review of existing processes and workflows was undertaken to identify areas that required remediation. Existing processes and workflows were improved, or new ones were designed, and other identified gaps were resolved using new technologies and tools.
  • Supporting Technologies: KA2 enabled the bank to achieve sustainable low-cost operation and management of its ITSM function and rapid enhancements to the ServiceNow platform through the introduction and adoption of complementary services, technologies and tools.

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.

The Benefits

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.

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.

Head of IT Service Management, Global Investment Bank