​ANZ banks on partnerships to usher in new wave of digital transformation

ANZ is looking to partner with an 'innovative' technology provider to bring additional insights and experience to support the bank's implementation of 'agile' ways of working.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is on the hunt for a technology provider to bring its "innovative" insights and experience to the financial services giant.

The bank will kick off a formal process to appoint a system integration partner to assist in the scoping and design of ANZ's technology architecture. Gerard Florian, technology group executive, noted that the successful vendor will support the bank's implementation of "agile ways of working".

"The partnership is not about one big-bang technology project with a finish line," said Florian, who joined the bank in an executive capacity about nine months ago. "At ANZ, we're continuously evolving our technology architecture to ensure we are consistently delivering great products and services to our customers."

Speaking in a video on Monday, Florian said that when thinking about the shape of technology, what really matters is the speed at which the world outside is changing, and the need for organisations like ANZ to meet the needs of its customers.

Florian said technology teams in banks have traditionally focused on building and fixing things.

"The onus really sits with the technology team at ANZ to really deliver that customer experience that we're looking for," he added.

"When we move to that service-provider mindset, what we're really thinking about is how do we create a service as a long-term view, but get some value out quickly and then continue to add more features based on customer feedback? And taking real responsibility that those services meet our customer needs."

The bank revealed in May it would be adopting the methods used by tech giants Google and Spotify in a bid to quickly respond to changing customer expectations, engage and empower staff, and improve efficiency within the bank.

The Scaled Agile approach to organising and delivering work has been touted by ANZ as a proven approach for running businesses based on small, autonomous, multi-disciplinary teams.

At the time, CEO Shayne Elliott said the bank already uses agile to deliver around 20 percent of its tech-related projects including initiatives such as Apple Pay, which ANZ launched in April last year.

"In the digital age, customer expectations are being redefined by their experiences with businesses like Amazon and Apple. We need to break with some of the traditional 20th century approaches to organising and working to ensure we are more responsive to 21st century customer expectations," Elliott said while delivering the bank's first-half financial results.

"The use of agile will mean a much less hierarchical ANZ, one built around small, collaborative, self-directed teams focused on delivering continuous improvement in the customer experience."

Kath Bray, the former managing director for products who was responsible for the delivery of Apple Pay at ANZ, was appointed to oversee the "agile transformation".

Since then, ANZ also appointed Jennifer Scott as general manager of Digital Transformation and Performance, who assumed responsibility for the commercial delivery of ANZ's digital banking strategy after the announcement was made in June.

The newly created digital transformation role based out of Melbourne sees Scott focus on "strategic partnerships to accelerate an innovative culture" across the bank, which is expected to support ANZ's overall strategic agenda.

Scott reports to group executive for Digital Banking Maile Carnegie, who joined ANZ from heading up Google Australia in March last year. She will work closely with Emma Gray who took on the newly created role of chief data officer for the bank in February.

ANZ has made a string of appointments this year to further its digital transformation, including Kathryn van der Merwe as group executive Talent and Culture, picking up an integral role in driving organisational change within the bank, touted as key to digital transformation.

ANZ also announced Lynwen Connick as its new chief information security officer, who joined the bank following her role as first assistant secretary information sharing and intelligence at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Connick, who replaced former CISO Steve Glynn, reports to Florian and is charged with ensuring the bank's information security strategy evolves with the changing technology landscape and supports the bank's digital transformation.

ANZ's company reshuffle was announced in September, after its COO Alistair Currie announced his departure.

For the first half of the 2017 financial year, ANZ recorded AU$2.9 billion in after-tax profit, an increase of 6 percent year on year, on total revenue of AU$10.6 billion.

In its 2016 full-year results, ANZ posted AU$5.7 billion in statutory net profit, representing a 24 percent tumble year on year. At the time, the bank attributed the profit dive to, amongst other things, its focus on competing in the "digital age".

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