Baillie Gifford sought assistance from Assure based on a desire to enhance visibility and control of all its IT systems. In a nutshell, Baillie Gifford wished to raise its already high IT delivery crossbar.

Baillie Gifford is an Edinburgh-based Investment Management firm which is wholly owned by 41 partners and has around 900 employees, with assets under management around £120 billion. It was founded in Edinburgh in 1908 and while still headquartered in the city, it today operates in a truly global marketplace. Baillie Gifford aims to differentiate itself in its market through its investment performance and extremely high levels of service to its clients. Baillie Gifford completes its own fundamental research on the companies it holds in its clients’ portfolios and provides detailed reports to clients as well as daily data updates with whatever information the client requires. For the most part, this information is derived from in-house- developed IT systems hosted in two bespoke-built data centres that operate in a fault-tolerant ‘Active-Active’ environment.

Baillie Gifford pushes its IT systems hard and continues to look for ongoing improvement. Downtime is not tolerated and the firm is willing to invest in clever technology that helps them efficiently manage its IT estate. Assure initially engaged with Baillie Gifford with a Proof of Concept (PoC) solution built around a number of key systems and applications. The PoC also incorporated monitoring and management of the network, server and the virtual environment infrastructure.

The PoC was successful and proved its worth by highlighting issues that would otherwise have required major resource input to identify. Support staff and management alike were delighted with the deep forensic insight and control the ‘Assure’ solution offered. The evidence derived from the PoC was enough to convince the Baillie Gifford Partners that the Assure-provided Riverbed performance management solution would offer considerable benefits to Baillie Gifford’s capability in IT and represented a worthwhile investment.

Baillie Gifford now has much greater visibility and control of its IT environment. Technical support staff and developers have access to detailed information to assist them as they provide their services across the firm. This helps improve the end user experience, offering greater consistency of performance and optimum availability. Time spent on unproductive firefighting has diminished, allowing staff more time to spend on development and strategy. At the same time, the management information available through dashboards and automatically generated reports is proving invaluable for governance and operational control.

“Baillie Gifford push our IT systems hard and continue to look for ongoing improvement – we are always willing to invest in clever technology to ensure maximum efficiency and security. Thanks to the Assure provided Riverbed solution we now have much greater visibility and control of our IT environment. We have been delighted with the deep forensic insight and control Assure has offered with the Riverbed solution and are already noticing considerable benefits to our capability in IT.”

Stop press: a year on and Baillie Gifford continue to go from strength to strength. As the firm moves forward, the IT Advanced Performance Management (APM) solution installed by Assure APM has more than proved its worth. The visibility and control of their IT, already exceptional, has been improved demonstrably and appreciably.

The solution has allowed Baillie Gifford IT staff to resolve issues not only quicker but often proactively solving potential problems before the end user feels any impact. It has also enabled them to investigate complex application, database, network, server and virtual issues rapidly and with minimal use of resource other than the automated aspects of APM.