Benchmark Awards: CommBank, CUA or ING Direct?

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Benchmark Awards: CommBank, CUA or ING Direct?

Judges notes: Voting for Banking and Finance CIO of the year.

Technology leaders from the Commonwealth Bank, Credit Union Australia and ING Direct have been chosen as finalists for the CIO Benchmark Awards.

One will be chosen as Banking and Finance CIO of the Year at the Benchmark Awards ceremony on February 26, and all three are in the running to be crowned Australia's 'CIO of the Year'.

Australian CIO's and senior IT managers are welcome to cast their vote on our CIO-only LinkedIn Group prior to close of business on February 1, 2013.

Today we take a look at the submissions in the banking and finance sector - stay tuned as we feature finalists from the remaining four sectors over the coming days.

The quality of the submissions in the banking and financial services category were exceptional.

In the same year we’ve seen the conclusion of a massively ambitious core banking upgrade at CommBank and a contact centre project of similar scale at the NAB, an enterprise-wide overhaul at Credit Union Australia, and a few examples of genuine innovation by some smaller players.

What was truly encouraging was to see how this industry leads the pack in terms of being able to demonstrate clearly the impact IT has on the business — whether its the speed at which CommBank or ING Direct can now bring new products to market, the way Sparke Helmore Lawyers and Westpac Institutional Bank demonstrated they could win new customers and new business directly off the back of IT projects, or the way CUA could demonstrate the impact IT had on an improved credit rating.

We have recorded our judges notes on video to aid the voting process:


The finalists

Michael Harte, CIO and Group Technology Executive, Commonwealth Bank 
Project: Core banking modernisation
The Commonwealth Bank has spent several years and over $1 billion to be the first Australian retail bank to overhaul its core banking system, delivering real-time banking and a host of other customer benefits. The project has led to reduced downtime, a rationalisation of products and processes, increased customer self-service and faster speed to market for new financial products.
"A project unrivalled in ambition and risk."
"A stand-out project...where IT-driven innovation has changed the function of the business itself."
"The culmination of five years and a billion dollars of work to replace technology that touches all customers and staff."

David Gee, CIO, Credit Union Australia
Project: IT Transformation Program
The CUA has engaged in a fundamental infrastructure overhaul — replacing everything from its data centre, servers, storage, network, desktops, data warehouse and analytics, to its payments terminals and mobile apps. The project required massive cultural change and the rewards were substantial — including an improved credit rating. 
"A comprehensive revamp of ageing infrastructure...and a new realisation of the role IT will play in the bank's future."
"David Gee has taken his team on an ambitious journey."
"David Gee takes a decade of underinvestment in technology and runs it through such an exhaustive improvement program, it had a direct impact on an improved credit rating. Impressive."

Andrew Henderson, CIO, ING Direct
Project: Bank in a Box
ING Direct has built the world's first banking system simulator to provision copies of its production banking system at little cost for testing new features, patching, training and the resolution of operational issues. The bank's renewed agility sped up the delivery of new superannuation products and created simpler and more robust disaster recovery processes, among other benefits.
"A low risk approach to ensuring future IT projects and ongoing maintenance will be far smoother."
"A quick, effective project to benefit ING's dev team."
"This somewhat left-of-field idea has shone a light on Australian technology leadership within a global organisation."


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