Workforce Strategy for Swiss Investment Bank

ISG developed a workforce strategy for the corporate services technology (CST) function covering its global workforce of over 1200, comprising employees, contingent workers and third-party vendor resources.



There was recognition within the senior management of the CST  of this investment bank that the current operating model and workforce distribution would not deliver the bank’s savings targets. It wanted a workforce strategy that would provide a “top down” view of overall workforce distribution by roles, capabilities, skillsets and location to inform a future state which could then be implemented. There were multiple drivers for this work:

  • A desire to secure the right balance of the right skills in the right locations to optimize performance and associated costs
  • A desire to identify hot spots in resources and skills and to split core versus non-core activities
  • A desire to create a robust business case and roadmap to required savings based on a future state that is informed by best practices as seen in peer banks
  • A desire to create a dynamic risk profile within the bank and to ensure compliance with an increasingly intrusive set of regulatory requirements
Imagining IT Differently

Imagining IT Differently

ISG adopted our proven 3-phase approach to develop the strategy. We commenced with data collection and a collaborative engagement with key stakeholders, ensuring buy-in from the beginning and on an ongoing basis.

ISG analyzed workforce data through 3 lenses: (1) location, (2) services/activities and (3) technology. ISG was then able to play back insightful facts on the current-state assessment to the bank. We identified hot spots where there was shortage of skills and sub-optimal, resource-augmentation type sourcing arrangements at high-cost locations resulting in value leakage.

We adopted a bifurcated approach for differentiating and non-differentiating services. ISG also developed future-state scenarios that were supported by a business case and a firm recommendation to the steering committee. We delivered a roadmap and transition plan to the future operating model to enable effective strategy execution.


Future Made Possible

  • The bank achieved circa 20% savings on its base costs delivered by consolidating its centers of excellence (Actimize, AML, Control Room and Trade Surveillance) based predominantly in the bank’s captive centers in Pune (India), Raleigh (USA) and Wroclaw (Poland).
  • The bank was able to convert its sub-optimal sourcing engagements to managed services and to incentivize its suppliers to put “skin in the game” to enable management via outcomes and service-level agreements (SLAs).
  • The bank received ISG’s help redefining the roles and responsibilities of personnel managing the outsourced service to drive more effective governance and reduce value leakage.
  • The recommended future workforce structure was modelled on the bank’s key design principle which was to move from siloed technology teams to DevOps -based, self-sufficient teams with full accountability.