by Rebecca Merrett

Suncorp Group CIO gets promoted to CEO

Jun 13, 20144 mins

Suncorp Group CIO Matt Pancino has been appointed to chief executive of business services at the insurance and financial services company.

Before Pancino joined Suncorp as head of business technology applications in 2010 and then moved into the CIO role in November 2013, he worked in executive IT roles at Perpetual and Telstra.

A Suncorp spokesperson said the CIO role “will be worked through over the next few weeks as Matt settles into his new role”.

Jeff Smith has resigned as CEO of business services to work in a senior global executive role at IBM in the United States.

Pancino follows a similar path to Smith who was also CIO at Suncorp before moving into the CEO role of business services at the company, and had also worked at Telstra.

Suncorp Group is rationalising its 12 large legacy data warehouses down to one, and its deploying a new Oracle-based banking platform.

Pancino recently spoke about the projects at the company’s Investor Day. The new banking platform, dubbed Ignite, will allow staff to add new capability as customers’ needs change.

Pancino said he has completed all the payments systems required for the new platform, as well as trade finance CRM functions.

“We are now up to the core piece. We are going to be able to deliver products very quickly to market with very little involvement from IT. It gives us the ability to build new capabilities very easily into it as our customer needs change and as the market changes,” he said.

“We estimate the cost is going to be just under $300 million, currently at about $270 million. We will capitalise about 80 per cent of that cost. And we’ll have Ignite completed by the 30 June 2016. Right now, we are about 50 per cent complete,” added Suncorp Banks’ ýCEO, John Nesbitt.

The data warehouse rationalisation project is expected to be complete by April 2015, and follows on from Suncorp’s IT systems simplification program, which is earmarked to deliver $225 million in benefits in 2015.

“We are combing a whole lot more specific customer behavioural pieces of information with core customer data we have got linked in a number of systems to bring that together for a more complete view of the customer. We now have a whole range of policy, claims, finance and HR information already in that single data store,” said Suncorp’s chief data officer, Adrian McKnight.

“It will be well structured data. So we are not just moving it across and dumping it into that area; we are also structuring it, better defining it and ensuring it’s got the right integrity to be able to use it effectively.”

The company is also tapping into machine learning and data modelling capabilities to be able to respond to customers’ needs in real time. Cloud computing will play a key role in being able to process huge volumes of data.

“By December, we will be moving a significant portion of our disaster recovery capabilities to the cloud. Through to 2015, we will be selectively moving production workloads to the cloud,” Pancino said.

“The approach we are taking is we are now moving into a hybrid cloud model where we are now entering into the opportunity to use some of the cloud providers as they are maturing.”

Suncorp is looking to use Azure, in addition to Amazon Web Services, IBM and Oracle for software services where it is fit for purpose.

Pancino will start in his new role on 16 June, and will report to Suncorp Group CEO Patrick Snowball.

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