NAB to revisit its technology strategy

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NAB to revisit its technology strategy

First major revision since 2018.

NAB is undertaking the first major revision of its technology strategy since 2018, with simplification, skills and platform-based architectures likely to be given elevated status and importance.

Chief technology officer Steve Day told the iTnews Podcast that the bank is currently reviewing its technology strategy.


“We set our current technology strategy in 2018 with the cloud as a pillar. It was really focused on agility, simplicity, cost management, and so on,” Day said.

“It's certainly not time to throw that strategy out, because it's been very effective, but it is probably time to look at the next revision.”

Day said that simplification is likely to be given more weight in the revised strategy.

“The technology areas in financial services companies have become increasingly complex over the years to the point where they're extremely complex today, and we need to simplify that,” he said.

“One way we plan to do that is to use the basis of cloud and the fact that we now have infrastructure-as-code and how that generate so many opportunities to create platforms: to cut and paste capabilities from one business in the overall group to another, to reuse the functionality that we build in terms of microservices across a much wider area than we've traditionally done, and to really just create an ecosystem of platforms rather than thousands of applications.”

Day said that cloud could also be afforded elevated importance, shifting up the stack from an “underlying capability” to an enabler for a lot of new customer-facing experiences.

In addition, the revised technology strategy is likely to drive home the importance of code and microservices reuse, and of standardisation of approaches, which Day characterised as “one way, same way”.

And, Day said, talent management would also be elevated, given the importance of recruitment and retention strategies for technology teams everywhere.

“It's a big problem for the economy at the moment, I wouldn't even say just for technology companies,” Day said.

“There is an incredible shortage of great tech talent out there and the market as a consequence is extremely hot.

“We can see, looking at the wider numbers, that Australia actually needs 1 million people in tech by 2025.

“NAB itself needs to add 1500 tech people this year. We're putting in place lots of programs to do that, like our technology internship program to employ over 500 interns this year, our Return to Work program and neurodiversity.”

Day said that a strong technology strategy, and having an environment that tech people wanted to work on, remained core to the bank’s recruitment and retention strategy.

“We need the very best in Australia, and we need to create an environment where the best are attracted to and we did that with cloud,” he said.

“But we need to take that to another level now. It's been quite a ride for the last five years. But as we look into it and what we've achieved, the last thing we want to do is rest on our laurels.

“We certainly need to take what we've done and use that as a foundation to build that next level of simplicity and capability into the business.”

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