CIO100 2017 #2: Craig Bunyan, ANZ Bank

“Our ethos is ‘learn fast and adapt’,” says Craig Bunyan, says of the technology team at ANZ Bank.

“We have moved away from large monolithic platforms and delivery programmes,” says Bunyan, who took on the general manager technology role five years ago. “The bank is now making progress in smaller increments, which means continually making improvements for our customers.”

Summarising the key programmes his team achieved, he says, “The upgrade of the systematics core banking system has been completed, removing years of legacy and customisation.

“Technology is in a position to leverage our modernised and simplified core system to enable more rapid and nimble fulfilment of products, digitised products and services and to streamline and automate processes.”

He says that to support the pace of change, ANZ has also moved to an Agile release-based delivery.

“The strategic work achieved over the past year puts technology in a strong position to become a truly digital bank that responds quickly to changes and disruptions,” he states.

Bunyan says achieving this requires strong partnership with business customers.

Over the past year, the technology team has worked hard to meet what business customers have asked for, move ANZ “to a simpler, more agile bank”, he states.

“In tandem, technology’s approach has improved products, processes and supporting systems across the board while managing risk and improving systems availability.”

In 2016, through the Deposit Remediation Project and Payment Industry Compliance Programmes, the bank delivered a six-year transformation agenda resulting in a modern world-class core banking system.

“This removed decades of customisation and aligned with the bank strategy of simplification helping move ANZ from 234 applications in 2009 to 152 in 2016,” he says.

“Transforming ANZ’s core systems has unlocked the ‘agility’ of the organisation,” says Bunyan.

“This modern core platform has driven increased operational efficiency freeing up teams to focus on more strategic outcomes like Apple Pay, goMoney Mobile Wallet, CRM, integration and many more, positioning the bank to keep delivering a superior customer experience through digital transformation.”

He says ANZ has moved to the rapid deployment of SCRUM practices across an array of complex systems. Currently over two-thirds of their technology projects are managed in an Agile manner.

Such building blocks along with a customer-centred strategy have enabled a culture of continual improvement and collaboration across key initiatives, says Bunyan.

Following the recent upgrade to its core bank systems, ANZ is well placed to innovate in digital technologies and shape the future of mobile payments in New Zealand.

As examples, he says ANZ was the first New Zealand bank to launch its own “Mobile Wallet”, integrated as part of the digital goMoney mobile applicatio; as well as the first to launch Apple Pay.

The strategic drive for simplification and efficiency, meanwhile, has meant sharper focus on customer-based outcomes, he says.

Both goMoney Wallet and Apple Pay came about by ANZ listening to customer needs, he says. They are unique in the sense that both are part of ANZ goMoney app, New Zealand’s most popular banking app with over 600,000 customers, says Bunyan.

“HCE advanced encryption technology is used to replicate the contactless card chip on physical cards and customers authenticate with either Touch ID or their device passcode for each transaction on Apple Pay.

“Organisationally, the story across both these apps is one of supreme teamwork,” he says.

Both projects were complex requiring highly effective collaboration of across diverse ‘agile’ specialist technology and business teams, he explains.

“A comprehensive change management programme was used to train and upskill staff while marketing campaigns promoted the apps to consumers and merchants.”

Bunyan has organised and restructured the technology team to align with running a high availability bank and growing its capability to support a range of transformation strategies.

The structure includes delivery (responsible for enhancements and new technologies), operations, architecture and business management for PMO, workforce and vendors.

In addition, he has two heads of technology who each have a seat at the business leadership teams and attend monthly meetings with executives across ANZ.

“They provide a focal point of engagement,” says Bunyan. “They work as a trusted partner, delivering technology change to support the business and importantly, our customer needs.”

The heads of technology and other members of the technology leadership team work with business unit leaders across a number of senior management forums set up to help the business adopt best practices and emerging technologies. These are areas around digital, big data analytics and cloud computing.

Technology’s end-user team has rolled out Tech Bars – a mobile rapid response unit to assist business users and support adoption of upgraded applications. The Tech Bars were used in an innovative way to address any systems issues following the Kaikoura earthquake, says Bunyan.

The bank has developed an MIT Sloan Business School course to educate business and technology staff on digital transformation. This course is held in Boston and approximately 100 senior staff have attended the week long course in 2016.

ANZ Bank believes in the inherent strength of a vibrant, diverse and inclusive workforce, he says.

The technology team has implemented a number of programmes to encourage greater diversity and more millennials.

One of these is a partnership with Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) to encourage more women to consider technology careers through the sponsorship of the ANZ Award for Most Outstanding Female Graduate.

The team also provides internships to WelTec and ICT Graduate School IT students through the the ANZ Technology Internship programme.

In addition, ANZ operates an annual Graduate Program with Technology taking an annual quota of graduates.

Technology graduates go through a structured two-year program working across a range of technology functions. Other initiatives include a 50/50 gender split for talent programmes and graduate programmes. Women represent 30 per cent of the Technology workforce.

While this is lower than the overall percentage for all of ANZ NZ, the total number of women in technology has increased by 15 per cent compared to two years ago, says Bunyan.

Delivering BAU and innovation

Bunyan says approximately 55 per cent of his time is spent on innovation and 45 per cent on operational excellence.

He notes that ANZ’s time reporting system reflects that during the last financial year technology staff spent 60 per cent of their time on innovation and 40 per cent on operational excellence.

A key deliverable for technology is to minimise the cost of providing core operational systems, he explains. This is primarily achieved through simplifying environments and systems and offshoring services to lower-cost providers where appropriate.

Since the commencement of the Application Lifecycle Simplification Programme, ANZ Technology have decommissioned 80+ applications and reduced the application portfolio by 35 per cent, he says.

By investing in and upgrading our core system, Systematics, opportunities have opened up to leverage vendor capabilities to automate the landscape, helping transform ANZ into a digital bank.

“ANZ is now well placed to accelerate efficiencies from process re-engineering and straight through processing, having built a simpler and more modern foundation.”

Divina Paredes

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

Download CIO's Winter 2021 digital issue: Supercharging IT innovation