ANZ Plus has a 'halo effect' on the bank

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ANZ Plus has a 'halo effect' on the bank

Podcast: Technology and skills expected to fan out.

ANZ Banking Group is set to reap rewards from a kind of "halo effect” generated by its work on ANZ Plus, the first customer-facing offering of its ANZx transformation.

ANZ Plus is effectively a new retail banking platform that customers can access via a mobile app. It offers financial management and coaching features, with a pipeline of about 100 features set to be added in the coming months.

Group Executive, Technology Gerard Florian told the iTnews Podcast that ANZ Plus had not only proven to be a valuable testing ground for new technology and platform approaches, but also in equipping 850-plus staff with skills that are likely to fan out into other areas of the bank.

“I kind of think about a ‘halo effect’ of ANZ Plus is at two levels,” Florian said.

“There are the components, procedures and ideas that will be reusable elsewhere, but there are also people who’ve learned new skills.

“Some of those people will end up working on areas outside of ANZ Plus.

“So as an organisation, we will benefit significantly from the innovation that's taking place on ANZ Plus, as we do from innovation that's taking place in other parts of the bank.”

On the technology side, Florian called ANZ Plus “a very helpful catalyst for what we were doing in cloud."

“ANZ Plus gave us an opportunity to think differently about how do we combine a number of technologies or components using the cloud as an underpinning foundation, working not only with new infrastructure but also new application providers - specialist companies in the financial services areas such as Zafin but also well-known organisations such as Salesforce, who have a lot of experience providing their solutions in the cloud,” he said.

“Putting all those components together, ANZ Plus enabled us to effectively build some key components of our stack, starting with the customer and working back.”

Strategically, ANZ Plus is also an example of an iterative approach to product development that is fanning out into other parts of the bank, including ANZ’s technology function.

“I think one of the big shifts for all organisations is the big three-year or five-year project that's completely defined with all of the funds committed upfront is becoming less and less common,” Florian said.

“Too much changes in technology to have that committed position five years in advance.

"What you need is a good idea of where you're heading, [but to adopt a] modular approach and an iterative funding model that says, ‘As long as you can show that you're continuing to deliver value along the way, then you should keep getting your money’.

“That puts pressure back on the technology organisation to keep delivering small bits of value.

“ANZ Plus is a perfect example where we've gone to market with a minimum viable product, and then we will rapidly release more features, and that lends itself to a more iterative approach.”

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