by Tim Lohman

ANZ outlines Toward 2017 strategy

Jul 15, 20114 mins
NetworkingRisk Management

ANZ Bank has announced its technology roadmap designed to facilitate two decades of continued growth through the integration of Australia and New Zealand with the Asia Pacific to form a super-regional business.

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The strategy, Toward 2017 is a combined business and technology plan based on several concepts including greater connectivity through the provision of cross-regional customer services, and greater customer-centricity through a ‘joined-up’ customer experience.

The strategy also includes the concept of greater reliance on information — such as through the use of real time business analytics — and greater integration and standardisation through developing systems and applications which can be scaled and used across the bank’s regional businesses.

“From a technology perspective this is not about core banking replacement; it is an architected approach designed to enable the next stage of the bank’s agenda by deploying technologies which are fit-for-purpose, integrated and standardised,” ANZ chief information officer, Anne Weatherston, said during a briefing on the strategy.

“We will continue to have three cores; our business strategy does not require us to replace or consolidate them. Our analysis of the strategy requirements of ANZ’s business has persuaded us that in the next immediate years we are bot constrained by the capability of our core systems.”

The focus of technology investment would, therefore, be based on systems and services which facilitated new business and improved customer service.

Commenting on the need to address the connectivity and mobility demands of customers, Weatherston said the bank would seek to make use of standard infrastructure and would engineer its network to prioritise voice, video and business-critical traffic.

Standardising services across the region would begin with an end-to-end business process as the basis for systems integration. The services to move regionally would be Corporate Centre Services, Global Markets, Corporate Banking Services, and Payments.

The bank will also create a single customer registry, allowing the bank to track and connect customers across services and regions and help achieve its goal of customer-centricity.

“[The registry] will take feeds from all of our customers systems in each of our countries and regions and will match customer data to connect it to individuals and parties and systems,” Weatherston said. “This will allow customer services to be offered in a common way across the regions.

“In addition we are creating a new single portal proposition for our consumer and corporate clients. This portal will enable us to consolidate and streamline customer access to relevant services, but once combined with the new transaction manager will personalise those services.”

The transaction manager system will enable the bank to connect across accounts and individual processing platforms effectively extending services already available in Australia to other countries.

“For example, immediate-effect credits and debits is a facility available to our customers in Australia and New Zealand for some time and it has now been requested by our Asian customers, so we would seek to deploy it using our transaction management capability,” Weatherson said.

2012 strategy update

Weatherston said the bank’s technology agenda over during the last 18 months has focused on four areas: The continued delivery of projects initiated by the 2007 appointment of Mike Smith to the CEO role; upgrades to infrastructure to support the bank’s super-regional vision; the restructure and realignment of the bank’s technology workforce; and the creation of the 2017 strategy.

Specific technology achievements included the design and building of a cross-regional cash management system, ANZ Transactive, within the institutional banking division of the bank.

To help cope with continued customer demand the bank had also upgraded its core banking platform, including its mainframe and tandem platforms, in the last year. A full refresh of its online portal, including the launch of its ANZ GoMoney mobile application, was also carried out.

The bank had also invested heavily in a new data centre in New Zealand and was in the process of building out its recently acquired data centre in Asia. Aggressive use of virtualisation across its data centres was continuing and a bank-wide virtual desktop program was under way.

The bank’s entire technology staff had been realigned into an new operating model to create a “universal professional services-based capability”, Weatherston said. The new model would allow staff to build competencies around specific technologies and services as a foundation for the 2017 strategy.

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