Not only was the UK Financial Ombudsman Service's Workday system months late, 38 IT workers' jobs are at risk

Questions remain over data warehouse dependencies and redundancies


The UK's Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has gone live on Workday finance and HR systems around three months later than planned, drawing questions over an interdependent data warehouse project.

At the same time, the process has seen IT roles marked for redundancy and set to be transferred to a service supplier.

The watchdog was set up by Parliament in 2001 to resolve complaints between financial businesses and their customers. This week, Workday published a statement boasting that the implementation of its software at the FOS had gone live.

"Workday and our implementation partner IBM are helping us to rethink parts of our business and how it operates," said FOS CIO Nicola Wadham in a pre-canned remark.

The new enterprise software would bring together financial, people, and operational data into a unified data core, Workday added.

It also shared a quote from Hitesh Amin at service partner IBM. "We worked as 'one team' and set ourselves high standards to execute with incredible resilience, especially given the tough timelines working remotely."

The statement will hardly be of consolation to the 38 members of the IT team put at risk of redundancy during the transition to this software and related data warehousing and CRM projects.

As The Register reported in July, an internal communication to the IT department from Wadham said an "organisation change journey" meant the IT team would "need to respond to changes the technology roadmap brings."

The CIO planned to move some roles from the IT department, including some vacant positions. As a result, 38 people could be at risk of redundancy. Meanwhile, 17 new roles were set to be created to support the new structure, the missive added.

In response to questions about IT job losses, in July a FOS spokesperson said: "The Financial Ombudsman Service is moving to a new IT system to improve our HR and finance functions as part of our work to ensure we remain an efficient and cost-effective organisation. This change involves retiring legacy HR and finance systems. We are now consulting staff affected by this process and will continue to work with staff and their representatives going forward."

Also in July, FOS launched a tender for an IT services partner capable of supporting and developing its new data warehouse and CRM systems in a deal set to be worth up to £22m. It was also set to go live in September on Workday's SaaS finance and HR system under a £6m, five-year contract awarded in November 2020.

In details accompanying the procurement for a data warehouse partner, FOS said that system "must be in place for the Workday feed by [September] as Workday is an important source of data. Following this, our core business system is built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, and this would be implemented following the Workday solution along with the remaining systems."

The Reg asked FOS whether that system has gone live, and about the delay to the Workday implementation.

FOS sent us a statement: "We are delighted that, together with our partners IBM and Workday, we have had a successful go-live of Workday and smooth transition to our support model. We are investing in and continuing to build our technology team to align to the digital, data science and process strategy as published in our action plan. This will allows us to continue to adopt leading technologies in order to support our staff and customers effectively." ®

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