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Private cloud 'very important' for ANZ Banking Group: CIO

Hamish Barwick | Nov. 19, 2012
While CBA CIO Michael Harte has dismissed data sovereignty and security excuses used by businesses not to move to the cloud as "absolute garbage", over at ANZ, CIO Anne Weatherston has taken a different approach.

"The GoMoney brand will still exist and everything you can do in GoMoney you will be able to do in Sybase."

Near field communications

In addition to reworking GoMoney, ANZ Bank is undertaking a pilot of Near Field Communications (NFC) payments with 30 ANZ staff in Australia, with the staff having a virtual ANZ Visa or MasterCard credit card on their smartphone.

The bank plans to release the NFC payment option commercially sometime during 2013.

"NFC is in pilot at the moment because we're trying to work out what the take up rate will be amongst our merchants," Weatherston said. "Innovations such as NFC are just a matter of time and Australia is further ahead than any other country in the world looking at this technology."

"The beauty of Sybase GoMoney is that we can integrate all of the NFC traffic into that platform. Customers will be able to have a holistic view of banking transactions."

Offshoring and outsourcing

While Weatherson has no plans to follow Westpac CIO Clive Whincup's strategy of offshoring more IT jobs, she did say that regional IT centres were important for the bank. "When I joined the bank in 2010, there were 1500 IT employees working for ANZ in Bangalore, India. This is entirely consistent with the fact that we're going to be a super-regional bank," she said.

"We believe all of our services will be provided from a number of delivery centres. For example, the way we view IT, we will put the IT development where we believe we can get the best skills. In New Zealand we plan to build centres of excellence in our core domains such as payments and data," she said.

According to Weatherston, New Zealand may become the bank's centre for payments development because of the skill sets in the country.

She currently heads up an IT department in Australia of 4000 staff with no plans to outsource major IT functions.

"I still don't believe in outsourcing because I think many outsourcing deals become a case of `it's too difficult, let's give it to a vendor'," she said. "If you've got the right leadership and people you can be efficient as any outsourcing arrangement. "

However, Weatherson does believe in managed service agreements for IT functions that she has deemed "non-core" to the bank.

"Take the Capgemini deal that we did earlier in the year for all of our testing. We took the deal because of our 700 testers, 60 per cent of them were contractors."

"What we wanted to do [with the Capgemini contract] was drive up the consistency and quality of the service. By taking our testers, they can train and develop them."

 

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