by Divina Paredes

CIO50 2019 #3: Craig Bunyan, ANZ Bank New Zealand

Mar 28, 2019
Business ContinuityCareersCloud Computing

Craig Bunyan is a firm believer of imbedding the values of ANZ Bank – integrity, collaboration, accountability, respect and excellence – into technology’s strategy.

“The goal is to have every initiative working in conjunction with these values and its ‘Digital Bank with a Human Touch’ philosophy”, explains Bunyan, who stepped up into General Manager Technology (CIO) role five years ago.

“The technology team is focused on the customer and their role in delivering a leading customer experience – shaping a world where people and communities thrive and doing the right things in the right way” he says.

Moving towards this goal, Bunyan and his team work in partnership with both start-ups and larger, innovative technology companies, to use disruptive technologies that deliver easy, fast, safe and connected banking.

Following agile practices, the team also leverages collaborative partnerships in emerging technologies to bring innovative solutions that enable the bank to adopt and deliver fantastic new solutions for customers.

For example, funded by a discretionary budget that Bunyan controls, the Emerging Technologies team works with the rest of the business to develop and produce innovations using cloud technologies extensively to create rapid prototype environments.

“Over the past two years, the team has successfully used a number of emerging technologies to simplify and digitalise products; streamline processes; and transform its team and technology to make things easier, faster, relevant and more connected for ANZ’s customers and staff,” says Bunyan.

Ahead of the game

One of the emerging technology projects was to work with Google and Apple to implement and continually improve the payment tools ANZ’s customers use with the launch of Apple Pay, Android Wallet and Fastpay card reader. “This has made mobile payments faster and easier for both retail and business banking customers. Implementing these products saw a positive upswing in new retail business accounts being opened” says Bunyan.

The group worked on the launch of ‘Jamie’, ANZ’s digital assistant who can answer the 30 most common questions asked by customers. This is a result of collaboration with Soul Machines and Google. Jamie was built on AI, APIs, cloud, leveraging data and partnerships.

“Since the 2018 launch, Jamie has received much praise from ANZ customers and staff, complementing the bank’s other digital initiatives. Jamie has already had more than 12,000 conversations with existing and potential customers and has answered 60 per cent of customer queries,” notes Bunyan.

Following her first 100 days, Jamie’s abilities were extended to include the use of common Te Reo Maori words in her vocabulary.

The bank has also deployed a voice biometrics system which allows ANZ customers to identify themselves using just their voice instead of PINs, passcodes or security questions. This significantly speeds up and simplifies customer identification, says Bunyan.

Another project, Talk to ANZ, asks contact centre customers what they would like to do, and uses natural language to promptly understand and connect them with the bank staff who can best handle their queries.

Bunyan says this provides the contact centre staff with better insights about why customers are calling the bank.

The team is working on a range of projects using the information gathered from these interactions to further improve customer experience.

Continuing with ANZ’s focus on data, Bunyan facilitated the launch of ‘Delta’ which provides customer profiling insights to the Institutional, Commercial and Markets business.

Delta integrates data from multiple systems and provides interactive dashboards and guidance for real-time conversations with clients to optimise performance.

The bank’s internal customers – its employees – have also benefited from the raft of programmes implemented by the technology team.

The introduction of automation capabilities, containerisation and continuous delivery has enabled primary customer facing staff and those managing platforms to move to weekly daytime releases with no outages experienced by ANZ’s customers.

Consequently, ANZ now delivers features to its customers more frequently and with less risk. “This has embedded a culture of continuous improvement and change,” says Bunyan.

The driver to move from six weekly to weekly releases for ANZ’s largest customer facing platform (Internet Banking and GoMoney) was because it took too much time and effort to deliver customer value. ANZ can now do releases with 95 per cent less effort; its feedback cycles are 80 per cent faster and; customers have more input into development of features.

Bunyan further drove DevOp efficiencies by bringing together development and operational teams that were previously separated into distinct ‘grow’ and ‘run’ delivery teams.

Helping further support ANZ’s flexible working philosophy, Bunyan also facilitated the introduction of tools such as MyMeeting virtual/video meeting rooms, bank-wide virtual desktops and improved access to mobile applications, allowing the bank’s staff and remote workers, including offshore vendor teams, to connect with each other from home or wherever.

Getting culture right and ready for change

Bunyan highlights the importance of preparing the team – within technology and beyond – to thrive in the continuing digitalisation of the workplace.

Bunyan is proud of the Technology Transformation team he created. Responsible for cultural and technical change, this team continues ANZ’s agile journey, transforming ANZ into a high-performing technology organisation that can deliver customer value faster, while ensuring quality and stability of services.

The team works with both modern and legacy technologies, enabling practitioners to simplify and standardise; supporting teams to build and deploy at speed, with high availability.

“This positions ANZ to have increased agility and cloud readiness,” says Bunyan.

He notes where traditionally new methods of working had been defined by management and mandated to teams to use, the shift to a ‘Devops’ culture requires teams to be self-organising with servant leadership.

“Consequently, practitioner-led communities have been created – with staff self-nominating to join – that are empowered to define the new orchestrated pipeline for the organisation,” he explains.

Side by side with this is the unrelenting focus to have a more gender balanced workforce. All candidate shortlists must be ‘gender-balanced’ with fair representation of both men and women candidates and all staff are supported and encouraged to opt for flexible working options.

Bunyan also created a ‘Women in Technology’ group to provide mentoring and targeted development opportunities for female staff, and added diversity performance to all management roles in his team.

“These actions have increased the number of women in the team from seven per cent to over 32 per cent, which puts the bank well ahead of local industry benchmarks (where 25 per cent of ICT staff are women),” he says.

Bunyan proactively builds a more diverse talent pipeline by partnering with Weltec and AUT providing students with internships, graduate intakes and mentoring opportunities. His team also works with Wellington ICT graduate schools in providing practical work opportunities for students, guest lecturers and curriculum advice.

From a team culture perspective, Bunyan started a New Ways of Working (NWOW) programme to change how the Technology team members collaborate. He also sponsors a Hui to understand the barriers for Maori and Pacific entering the technology industry.

The Technology team now leads the bank in adopting agile working styles that enables the individual teams to work more effectively through the implementation of diverse and flexible working approaches.

In order to further accelerate delivery and increase staff engagement, Bunyan encouraged the formation of three new agile ‘tribes’ – the Home Owners, Business Owners and Everyday Banking tribes. Comprising a mix of technology, product, risk and digital people that operate in agile squads, the tribes consist of between 80 to 120 people and are each responsible for transforming a key customer interaction within the bank.

“Spending time in branches and call centres enables these squads to deeply understand the customer journey and focus on providing the best experience for customers,” he explains.

Bunyan also invites senior business leaders to attend their technology floor talks to discuss their business strategy, the changing market and how they can work further with the technology team.

“These regular events have helped further embed the message of partnership between business and technology leadership,” says Bunyan.

“They also give the wider technology team the opportunity to stay connected with the team’s strategy and progress.”