CommBank CIO advocates shared infrastructure

Content creation drives customer service in banking sector

Commonwealth Bank group executive for enterprise services and CIO, Michael Harte.

Commonwealth Bank group executive for enterprise services and CIO, Michael Harte.

CIOs should focus on content creation while sharing non-core infrastructure with other institutions, according to Commonwealth Bank group executive for enterprise services and CIO, Michael Harte.

Speaking at the TM Forum Summit in Sydney, Harte, said the continual focus on IT infrastructure is restricting customer value.

“We think that customers want more dynamic content and transactions in real time, as well as more insight from financial services providers,” Harte said.

“Half of all we spend is on infrastructure...this doesn’t confer value to the shareholder or the customer and doesn’t create new income opportunities.”

Harte is a long-time proponent of the use of software and infrastructure as a service. He previously spoke with CIO Australia about the bank’s Cloud computing strategy and the need to focus on components and granular data to create new services for customers.

Harte told delegates at the TM Forum that the lack of focus on content will result in the banking sector falling behind. The Commonwealth Bank is in the process of an operations transformation that includes a step into ‘everything as a service’, he said.

“We are in the fifth year of a larger operations transformation, “ he said. “It does take a long time and we’ve been going with this work after deploying virtualisation for three years.

“…I fear that not many enterprises worldwide have gone beyond their existing enterprise architecture and taken the next step into everything as a service.”

Harte also recommended the use of shared infrastructure across the banking sector.

“I’m very open to sharing non-contestable, non-value adding and non-core infrastructure,” he said.

Suggesting that standardisation be made a key focus across the sector, Harte said agility can only be achieved with a more open banking structure.

“The interesting learning we had was that you’re taking siloed activities that are rigid and you’re trying to drive to agility, make them available and reusable,” he said.

“It’s not until you embrace standardisation that you can actually free up the money to go to services and agility.”

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