Customer Story: Technical health check leads to mitigated risk, cost savings, and better performance

APN-Select-Tier-Partner-BadgeCompany: A Global Venture Capital firm

Sponsor: COO

Headquarters: New York, NY

Products Purchased: Technology Assessment & Planning, Technical Services

Project Goals: Full technical health check and assessment of technology systems. Increase user adoption of proprietary tool. Improve security, reliability, and performance. Increase speed and scalability.

A leading global Venture Capital firm (VC) built a proprietary tool to help its research team work more efficiently. The tool was designed to offer analysts the ability to search and continually monitor companies that meet specific criteria across more than 12 different business attributes.  It should reduce the universe of companies to only those in which analysts would present to their CIO for investing. Most of the development work was outsourced and executed by a team of offshore consultants: bringing data from various sources into a data warehouse providing analysis, artificial intelligence and monitoring results.

The Challenge of User Adoption

The research analysts at VC didn’t immediately adopt this as a solution, even though the firm made a significant bet by investing dollars and time in developing it. The executives at VC knew they had to understand what issues were preventing widespread use and how they can be resolved.

The firm uncovered through internal investigations that the tool’s search results returned errors and inaccuracies. This frustrated some of the analysts and caused them to abandon use of it. These investigations also lead the firm to take a closer look at its security and infrastructure frameworks.

The Need for a Full Technical Health Check and Assessment  

After its internal investigations, the firm knew there were areas for improvement. However, the team did not have the time or the technical expertise to clearly identify what the issues were or how to correct them. The firm turned to a new technical partner to conduct a full health check of their technology and recommend fixes for optimization. CopperHill Consulting fit that need.

CopperHill’s assessment shed light on many areas for improvement:

  1. Mitigating Risk: The physical server they were paying for was much larger than necessary. Production and development environments were running on the same instance. By simplifying their environment, running backups, establishing availability zones, and separating production and development environments, saving the client money, reducing risk, and ensuring business continuity.
  2. Establish Security Protocols: One single set of credentials unlocked access to the entire system. The credentials along with security tokens were stored in plain text, available to anyone who went looking for them. Setting up AWS Secrets Manager, encryption, cloud-based security, and software security keeps the client data safe.
  3. Improving Performance: The APIs bringing data into the data warehouse were twice as large as they needed to be, and they included an unnecessary intermediary connection. The data warehouse included a lot of duplicate information and there was no maintenance being done to it. Reducing the APIs, normalizing the database, and implementing automated maintenance provisions to the application increased the performance and speed by up to 60% and speed by 27%.

Not only will these changes mitigate risk, enhance security, and improve performance, CopperHill estimates that the client will save approximately $75,000 per year.

Cloud technology can greatly enhance the efficiency of an organization, but if it is not set up correctly or not maintained, it can be a huge drain on both financial and personal resources. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if your environment might benefit from a technical health check and assessment:

  1. Are your infrastructure costs increasing without a known cause?
  2. Do you need to rationalize the products you purchased?
  3. Do you have a solid understanding of how your environment is set up?
  4. Do you know how your environment is mitigating security risks?
  5. Are your systems and software performing optimally?

Please contact us if you have any questions related to our technology assessments and health checks.