IT — 9 June 2020

Mazars Spain is using Dropbox Business to build a people-centred technology strategy

David Marcelino is a CIO defying conventional thinking in his approach to IT strategy. Placing the human at the centre, his technology roadmap at Mazars Spain — one of the world’s largest audit and advisory firms — is turning the traditional model on its head and mapping teams and activities rather than tools.

With more than 600 workers across seven cities in Spain, Mazars’s earlier transformation efforts had left individual business units operating in functional silos. Each individual location operated from its own on-premise servers, with assets stored locally and communications with customers taking place over email.

It was effective, but not efficient, and the lack of interoperability between the sites was slowing productivity, hindering growth and impacting the customer experience.

Against a backdrop familiar to many IT leaders dealing with the modern workplace, David Marcelino was brought in as the CIO to fix the problem.

Using Dropbox Business, this is the story of how he’s done it.

Adopting a new approach

With a remit to ‘fix the broken workplace’, David had a license to find the right solution for Mazars Spain and the support of his superiors to navigate the business forward in whichever way worked best.

“I started with a pen and paper,” explains David. “I spoke to stakeholders across the entire business, travelling the length and breadth of Spain, to find out what it is they needed in order to work how they wanted to work.”

It was during this research phase he identified the right path for the business. “We had to flip the strategy around,” says David. “We needed to prioritise work and projects based on the people working on them not the technology, and build a clear roadmap for change that supported this vision.”

Designing a strategy focused on the right priorities

Building a comprehensive list of priorities from teams around the business, David then had the task of putting them into some kind of order. “By speaking to people and not guessing what we thought was wrong, we were able to better understand the problems that needed solving. We then chose to focus on implementing workflows which empowered our people and ultimately took them away from collaborating over email,” explains David. “Our key priorities were employee productivity, client interaction, and minimising risk of data loss.”

Recognising the scale of the challenge in front of him, David devised a three-year technology roadmap to transform the business. The pivotal first step was to introduce a platform to foster collaboration between teams and individual business units. That platform was Dropbox Business.

“Sharing knowledge and collaborating across different locations in a secure environment is invaluable to growth,” says David. “Empowering our people to bring their unique know-how to the fore and work together in a collaborative environment has accelerated problem-solving and is improving employee engagement and how we interact with our customers.”

Working with the broader business to drive adoption

Making such a radical change to operations was a big step for Mazars. To help drive it through and showcase the benefits of moving to a cloud-based smart workspace, David enlisted the support of the Human Resources Director to ensure solutions were aligned to company culture and an integral part of the business.

“David explained how moving to Dropbox Business would break down the silos between locations and teams,” says a leader from the HR Department. “We then devised a communications plan to educate our people and get them excited for the impending change. Starting this process early and highlighting the value to be realised by widespread adoption meant we had rapid uptake and early adopters supporting the move.”

The future for Mazars Spain

“In the past we had employees wasting hundreds of hours a week trying to find the latest forecasts on emails or working on different versions of the same contract,” says a leader from the HR Department.

“The difference with Dropbox Business has been transformational,” he continues. “Clients are happier. Productivity is better. And we can now give people the freedom to work how they want, with the tools they want. The future looks very positive.”

David’s plans for the future of Mazars Spain are invigorating and truly exciting. “Adopting a people-first approach to our IT strategy has empowered people to drive real business value,” says David. “Innovation is improving. Productivity is improving. Customer engagement is improving. And, we are eliminating the clutter and complexity that was putting the brakes on our growth.”

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