Saxo Bank Drives Growth, New Customers and Improved Digital Experience with TBM

For more than 25 years, Denmark-based Saxo Bank has offered investment services for traders, investors and wholesale partners. Technology is a core part of Saxo’s DNA, and as the company pursued digital transformation it identified three strategic priorities:

  • Digitize the entire value chain
  • Create a world class sales and service organization (with AI, ML and digital technology)
  • Industrialize its wholesale offering (using open APIs)

When Senior Director Luke Waring joined Saxo in 2018, the bank was in the middle of the transformation, and was struggling to fully control IT costs. Transparency around technology spend was minimal, as was accountability for budget owners. Meanwhile, customer onboarding was in some instances lasting up to five days.

In just 10 weeks, Luke and his team implemented a TBM (technology business management) solution using Apptio. Budget owners were now tied together with IT and IT finance, giving full visibility.

Saxo could now leverage usage and performance data to identify areas where they could optimize costs. Luke’s team redirected the savings from the IT cost optimization toward an onboarding solution powered by AI and machine learning. Customer onboarding accelerated by a factor of 12—and the duration of the process dropped to less than a day.

Make data-driven decisions to align your portfolio

As the company was trying to optimize and further digitize its business, they needed the ability to track each application’s cost and value—to make the business case for said applications and ensure they retired any apps that supported legacy processes they were digitizing. They needed a solution that enabled them to rationalize IT investment decisions based on solid data.

The company replaced spreadsheets and legacy systems with an Apptio-powered budget tracking system that makes budgets available to everyone and provides an automated workflow for approvals. Now stakeholders can measure TCO, base decisions on hard data, and align their application portfolio to Saxo’s IT strategy.

 “We’re able to bring accountability back to budget owners, so they can trace through their numbers and understand their variances, with very little need to drill down into detail,”

Luke Waring, Sr. Director of Technology Business Management, Saxo Bank

Driving discussion about application TCO

Measuring application TCO is also enabling the IT organization to have conversations with business partners around showback, where money is spent, and how applications drive consumption or the creation of new business capabilities. This empowers business partners to use IT budgets more efficiently, and to work with IT in continuously optimizing the portfolio.

Says Luke: “Once we agree within IT that these models are correct and have faith in those numbers—and we really have the power to make decisions on the back of them, we’ll then engage the business and have a discussion around show back, what’s driving their technology budgets.”

Saxo approaches these conversations about application TCO in two stages:

  • Stage one uses an assumptive model to start conversations with business stakeholders
  • Stage two takes a more data-driven approach to those same conversations

Whether needing insights into total App TCO, allocating costs for more informed investment decisions, or optimizing costs to reinvest, using a repeatable approach to IT cost optimization is critical.

See the Saxo Bank case study video for more information.

Article Contents


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