Schroders - Global Web Architecture
Digiterre Develops New Global Web Architecture for Schroders
Schroders is a global asset management company with over £137.6 billion of assets under management with 36 offices across 26 different countries globally. The business identified that despite the recent upgrading of the entire Content Management (CMS) software, the global web infrastructure was no longer serving Schroders' strategic needs and required a systematic review.
"Digiterre with their deep knowledge of both systems and investment management were able to help me define the specific nature and scale of the problem we faced. They then worked with our team to develop the overall strategy and to scope out the requirements of the project needed to deliver the solution. I would use them again if faced with a technology and business process problem that was impacting my client service proposition, " says Henrietta Jowitt, Head of Marketing & Communications, Schroders.
The specific key issues were:
- Their existing CMS infrastructure did not enable content owners in the different country or regional offices to maintain their own content locally. Hence all web content changes were being carried out by a centralized e-business team
- This in turn created bottlenecks in the content creation and management process, with content inaccuracies and navigational inconsistencies in evidence throughout many of the 100-plus websites in existence.
- This issue was further amplified by the absence of any unified content management workflows across the many sites. Consequently, every piece of content, including content common to multiple sites, had to be cut and pasted and hyperlinked manually into every site. This introduced content inaccuracies and exacerbated the content management bottlenecks.
- Much of the e-business team's resources were being used to "fire-fight" content-related issues, rather than provide more
- Strategic level advice to the regional offices. Consequently, much of the content was out-of-date or simply inappropriate.
- Furthermore, the pre-existing technology infrastructure made it difficult and time-consuming to deliver the functional and integration-led enhancements that the regions required to produce market-leading websites.
Schroders knew that they had a business problem, but they were unable to determine whether the issue lay with the technology, business processes, the organizational structures or a combination of factors.
Schroders engaged Digiterre to undertake an extensive program of work which encompassed the following:
- A review of the Information Architecture (IA) to identify how the existing content was structured across the many sites.
- Technology and content management process reviews to better understand the impact of the current system and processes on performance.
- Develop and present strategic recommendations to the Global Distribution Executive (GDE) on how Schroders could better leverage the web to enhance its interactions with clients and investors through the institutional and retail channels.
- Develop a new and radically different IA, which would support localized site creation and management, while maintaining a global site structure.
- Specify and select a more appropriate CMS application.
- Build a Pilot site which implements and validates the new IA using the selected CMS.
- Perform the technical integration necessary to incorporate data feeds from four live systems used within the business:
- MoneyMate, the source of fund information
- Talking Point, a hosted site which delivers streaming media of key presentations and market commentary
- ICE internal document management repository
- Eloqua email campaign management system
Digiterre first sought to develop a thorough understanding of the business by interviewing key stakeholders from across Schroders regional offices to better understand their roles, issues and preferred outcomes.
This was supported by extensive analysis of the existing content, related management workflows and a technical review of existing software infrastructure.
The IA was developed over a period of months by a process of recommendation and review, and was visualized through a highly detailed set of "wireframes" or interface designs covering each and every area of the proposed global and generic local site structures.
A Successful Outcome
The Pilot site build achieved the aims set by the Schroders Project Steering Group which were as follows:
- Digiterre's strategic proposals together with the re-engineered IA, were accepted by the GDE.
- Microsoft SharePoint 2007 was selected and used to built the pilot site and to successfully validate the IA.
- Digiterre successfully demonstrated that it had integrated the four required systems, which would underpin the enhanced functionality required by the regions.
The pilot site was delivered on time and to budget and demonstrated all of the required system functionality.