Finalists face off for finance CIO of the year

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Finalists face off for finance CIO of the year

Battle for the biggest core overhaul.

The three finalists battling it out in the finance category for the iTnews Benchmark Awards this year have all stared down one common challenge, and one the wider financial services industry has been wrestling with in recent years. 

With the threat of smaller, more nimble players breathing down the established industry's neck, financial services firms are being forced to take a long, hard look at their IT infrastructure and weigh up between maintaining the status quo or investing in something unknown.

The three finalists in this year's finance category have demonstrated big payoffs from taking the leap, setting themselves up to capitalise on future innovations for their customers.

Please join us in congratulating:


  Mark Gay - ME Bank  

    Project Transformation    

Five years ago ME Bank identified that the only way to get near its strategic goal of tripling its customer base by 2020 was to be able to offer a compelling experience for end users - something its existing IT environment would not allow.

It opted to completely rebuild rather than renovate its existing system architecture to give itself the ability to plug into new technologies quickly and easily, without the worry of maintaining old systems.

ME implemented seven new software systems and one million lines of code over the past four years in a complete redesign of its IT architecture intended to future-proof the bank.

Despite an initial series of short outages immediately following the core banking overhaul aspect of the project, the transformation effort is already paying dividends through a huge reduction in time-to-market for new products, faster home loan settlements resulting in more revenue, and growth in customer numbers.

Dave Chapman - Teachers Mutual Bank

Dell Boomi integration

TMB’s many years of effort to prepare its IT environment for the digital age is paying off after the implementation of the last piece of the puzzle, its Dell Boomi-based integration platform.

After upgrading its core banking platform, introducing a new data warehouse, and implementing a single-customer view, TMB has now threaded all the pieces together via the on-demand cloud integration tool.

Importantly, the integration is allowing TMB to quickly and easily capitalise on the innovative third-party mobile apps TMB anticipated its customers would be seduced by.

The bank’s IT team managed to sell a technical capability to its board, and convince its core banking system provider to publish APIs and extensible services, to get the program up and running.

It is reaping rewards through a reduction in IT operating costs and the millions TMB saved through using the platform to avoid a core banking system replacement.


Ian Gibson - SuperChoice

Infrastructure strategy

The hard June 30 deadline for compliance with the government’s new SuperStream superannuation system gave SuperChoice no choice but to address its constrained IT environment - which it freely admits was near breaking point.

But instead of simply meeting its obligations, the company decided to go the whole hog and entirely rewrite its core legacy platform into a microservices architecture and deploy it into a multi-public cloud environment, alongside a complete overhaul of its development practices.

It turned from minimal dev and test environments and expensive and slow provisioning (taking ten or more weeks) into spinning up new virtual environments in under an hour, thanks to a cultural overhaul to agile and DevOps practices, and by growing the IT team by almost 400 percent.

It is now paying far less operational costs annually and has drastically reduced deployment errors, while bringing in new revenue from moving away from a single user acceptance testing environment for all clients to dedicated environments for individual firms.

The full list of finalists can be found here. Voting will now commence for members of the iTnews LinkedIn CIO Group. If you're a CIO but not a member, head on over and request to join today.

Winners will be announced at the CIO Edge Experience (formerly the CIO Strategy Summit) on February 21 at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

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