by Hamish Barwick

Q&A: ING Direct Australia CIO, Andrew Henderson

Apr 02, 20124 mins
Risk Management

ING Direct Australia chief information officer, Andrew Henderson, has been with the online bank since 2003, during which time he has worked in both the Ukraine and Australia as a CIO.

Henderson spoke with CIO Australia about the private Cloud and security, as well as why his watch is his favourite gadget.

What does an average work day involve for you at ING Direct?

Technology plays a very important role in supporting our customers and allowing them access to their money. I have four key areas of focus: Strategy, operations, delivery and measuring our own performance. That can be from a risk management perspective and how we are meeting the needs of the business.

My job is to lead a management team and support them in terms of initiatives such as our private Cloud offering, Bank in a Box. I also spend time with my executive colleagues across the bank working out what they need from technology.

What are some of the challenges you face in the role of CIO?

A big focus for me is making sure I have the right team in place so I spend a lot of time looking at talent and the leadership depth of my team. I see that as a major challenge in IT because you have people with strong technical backgrounds but as an industry, we need to do more on the leadership side. Are we bringing technology to the table in a way that the business can see the value and outcomes? That’s a key component for me.

A second challenge is making sure our services are resilient and perform as they are expected and that the data we manage is secure and under control.

What are some of the major projects you have been working on?

Bank in a Box is going to have an influence on our data centre strategy so we have to start moving our data centre infrastructure into a Cloud-enabled model.

We’re also rolling out a new workplace experience which involves Windows 7, remote access and bring your own devices (BYOD). ING Direct has a growing corporate iPad fleet so we’re looking at how we can support that fleet securely.

What are the three biggest issues facing CIOs today?

One of the biggest is leadership. We’re in challenging times and it gets quite easy for CIOs to be conservative and risk averse. The time now is to look at innovation because it can help the organisation. As a CIO, we’re tasked with keeping things resilient and managing data. I think we will miss opportunities if we don’t take challenges on.

Cloud is a challenge for the vendor community because some vendors are struggling with licence models while the challenge for CIOs is to go against the status quo and go outside those traditional vendors if they are not providing what we need. It’s easy for us to stay with the bigger [Cloud] vendors but there is a lot of value to be had when we start to look at the smaller, more innovative companies.

The third challenge is cybercrime and security. There have been a number of different events in Australia over the last six months and we need to start paying attention. Australia has an economy that is working well so we are on the radar for the global cybercrime community.

We’ve seen an incident where you can rent a denial of service [DDoS] attack for $200 a month and target any company you like. These attacks can have a significant impact on our customers so we need to manage and protect their data.

What is your favourite gadget?

My Garmin watch because it’s a very elegant device and has GPS. It maps out my running schedule and away I go.

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