City & Guilds Case Study

City & Guilds Case Study

Strategy and Architecture
1st January 2016

Company background

City & Guilds is the biggest name in vocational education. Founded in 1878 in London, City and Guilds now offers more than 500 vocational qualifications over a range of industries, with 2 million learners choosing to study with them every year.

The challenge

Shapecast were engaged by the Executive Board of this global leader in skills education to review the strategy, architecture and capability of the entire organisation.

City and Guilds already had a proposed 3-5 year transformation programme across products, applications and infrastructure. However, they enlisted the help of Shapecast after the initial proposal was deemed significant, complex and costly.

What we did

Shapecast engaged with stakeholders throughout the organisation and analysed the existing proposed in-house architecture that had been developed throughout the previous twelve months. Following this phase of analysis, Shapecast demonstrated that the proposed approach was very high risk, expensive and could not easily to be supported by the organisation.

We subsequently restructured the architecture from first principles, ratifying business strategy, proposed markets, applications and underlying technologies. The resulting architecture presented a much lower risk approach which enabled the organisation to invest a more incremental way as they tested out the viability of new markets.

What was the outcome

Our approach was presented to and approved by the board and represented cost savings of over £10M+ against the previously proposed, high risk architecture. More importantly, we created a clear, well defined roadmap which allowed this organisation to grow in to new markets without taking huge risks or having to make significant up front investments.