CIO Australia is running its second annual CIO50 list which recognises Australia\u2019s top 50 IT most innovative and effective IT chiefs who are influencing change across their organisations.\nThis year\u2019s top 50 CIO list will be judged by some of Australia\u2019s leading IT and digital minds. Our illustrious judging panel in 2017 includes the Australian government\u2019s former chief digital officer and now Stone Chalk \u2018expert in residence\u2019 Paul Shetler; and former Microsoft Australia MD and now CEO, strategic innovation at Suncorp, Pip Marlow.\nNominate for the 2017 CIO50\nWe take a look back at last year\u2019s top 25. Today, we profile Scott Collary, the former chief information officer at ANZ who slotted in at number 6.\nRead Scott's story below:\n#16: Scott Collary, former chief information officer, ANZ Bank\nANZ\u2019s IT chief, Scott Collary, joined the bank in December 2014 and immediately discovered that the organisation felt that doing business with the IT group wasn\u2019t always easy.\n\u201cWhen I first arrived, we did a Town Hall [meeting] and I talked to as many people as I possibly could - trying to get a gauge for what was going well and what wasn\u2019t going so well,\u201d Collary says.\nThe bank\u2019s IT group, with its 4,700 staff members, operated in a siloed way and needed to change. Collary gathered partner feedback to identify areas where improvements needed to be made and created a new operating model which allows for a closer relationship with the business and clarifies daily accountabilities around delivery.\nBy doing this, Collary \u2013 who left the organisation last November \u2013 has driven consistency in the way the IT group works with the business to deliver technology for customers and staff. He collaborated with executives to simplify frameworks, methods and governance to deliver smaller projects more frequently and increase the number of projects delivered using Agile methodologies.\n\u201cI looked at the operating model first to work out how we could make service delivery more streamlined. How do you get people understanding what they do every day? Is it important to the company as a whole? Once they understand that and engage, it\u2019s a positive cycle,\u201d he says.\nSo far, the results have been good. The new model saw divisional and enterprise technology teams set up to plan and deliver end-to-end solutions for ANZ. These teams engaged with the business to understand objectives and necessary constraints including funding, resourcing and timing.\nThis has brought technology closer to the business, with each of the team leads working as divisional CIOs and as part of their respective divisional leadership teams.\nCollary has maintained staff engagement levels and said the group is up six points in its employee engagement in the last two years with a more dynamic and diverse workforce in IT.\n\u201cWomen in management is up 3.5 per cent, we\u2019ve got 20 to 30 per cent more change happening year-over-year at a higher quality with a lower incidence rate,\u201d he says.\nSince the new model has been in place, high priority IT incidents across the bank have reduced by 36.8 per cent (January recorded the lowest high priority incident volumes ever), and median time to restore high priority incidents has decreased by 16 per cent.\n\u201cThere\u2019s a lot of positive things \u2013 we\u2019ve also taken months off our delivery cycle,\u201d says Collary. \u201cIn a medium-sized project \u2013 $5 million and up is how we defined it \u2013 we took nine months off the delivery cycle. Part of that is just \u2018time-boxing\u2019, being really clear with expectations.\u201d\nAll this has freed up time and resources to focus on what ANZ does very well and that\u2019s innovate.\n\u201cThere are very few industries that have done as much as fast as financial services,\u201d Collary says. \u201cWhat\u2019s driving [innovation] today is that the barriers to entry are so cheap \u2013 technology is moving fast and you\u2019ve got so many really smart people out there who have come up with a great idea.\u201d\nToday, ANZ is the only 'big four' bank to offer Apple Pay. Customers with an ANZ Visa debit card, Visa, or AMEX can use their iPhone or Apple Watch to make purchases.\nUnder Collary\u2019s leadership, technology teams are also moving towards more Agile ways of working. ANZ\u2019s Banker Desktop, an integrated platform that is used to facilitate and capture a \u2018needs-based conversation\u2019 about a customer\u2019s financial situation, is built using an Agile methodology. This meant the project team committed to a build, test, learn and build again cycle.\nAnother innovation, Sysl, is a text-based programming language that ANZ developed internally and has now open-sourced. Modelling systems was previously a \u2018weeks long\u2019 mapping process for staff. The new language has cut that down to minutes.\nCoders prescribe ANZ\u2019s systems, the end points and the data modules through a text specification language and the Sysl tool produces all of the mapping, system specifications, end points descriptions and other descriptors of ANZ\u2019s architecture into a format that developers can pick up and move. This has given ANZ a real speed advantage, Collary says.\n\u201cWe have estimated that through the first release of Sysl that ANZ has been able to achieve around 15 per cent to 20 per cent productivity gain of our current development processes and we think we can increase that to 30 per cent with additional features planned,\u201d he says.\nInnovation at its heart\nANZ has also been working to increase process automation and straight-through processing rates for some time now. New software tools, including robotics, are allowing the bank to do more of that, says Collary.\n\u201cIt is important that we increase the speed and quality of our transaction processing end-to-end and simplified and automated process design is one way to do that. We have approximately 300 robots deployed chiefly in our \u2018hubs\u2019 to augment human capabilities and free up people to do higher work,\u201d he says.\nThe bank is also experimenting with several virtual reality (VR) technologies, including Samsung Gear VR, and similar headsets such as Google Cardboard, for training purposes.\nIn the consumer digital space, developers of the bank are experimenting with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets with future designs to also look into Google\u2019s daydream platform.\n\u201cWe are looking at ways to take our teams, which are spread across many locations, and give them a much more immersive experience. While it won\u2019t replace traditional classroom learning, it will allow them to visit environments and have experiences such as a customer interaction in a branch while being based in a classroom.\u201d\nCollary says the bank has embraced a startup mentality \u2013 in fact he says thinking this way is critical.\n\u201cYou hear the term \u2018fail fast\u2019 \u2013 for a bank we can\u2019t actually put something in production that is going to fail. We can test and prototype it with customers hellip; and have them use it in their daily business and we just watch and see if the technology serves a purpose.\n\u201cThose type of things are important for us to keep nimble. As important as the research and development labs are, you can\u2019t leave it there. Innovation has to be everybody\u2019s job all day long.\n\u201cThe best ideas come from people who are using the processes and talking to the customers. So we have to figure out how to unlock that. That\u2019s a big part of my job, to figure out how we get those ideas right up through the organisation so we can address them,\u201d he says.