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ANZ CIO: 'We want to be a more open bank'

George Nott | July 5, 2016
IT chief Scott Collary is transforming ANZ's approach to tech

ANZ CIO Scott Collary

From across the street, passers-by can see what's happening on all three floors of ANZ's glass-clad Martin Place branch. The big-screen self-service stations, the tablet tables, the angular sofas - the whole space brightly lit and on full display.

Unveiled in May, the new flagship is a fitting location for Scott Collary's first media roundtable as ANZ's CIO. He tells the gathered journalists: "We want to be a more open bank."

That goes beyond media relations. ANZ is making APIs open source and supporting the developer community in creating new uses for its latest devices. It is releasing an internal modelling language called Sysl for free. It is giving customers access to the same digital platforms that staff use for improved self-service. It's CEO has gone public about partnering with fintech groups. There are beanbags.

ANZ's openness doesn't quite mean leaving the vault door ajar. It's still a bank so, as Collary puts it, "we can't expose everything to everybody" but it is developing tooling and techniques to make it easier to connect to its legacy systems, and building APIs on the assumption they may be released externally.

"I want the inside of ANZ to look like the outside world from a technology perspective," Collary says. "If [platforms are] proprietary and closed and we have to rely on just our capacity to extend and build, you get a limited impact from that, but the rest of the world's moving in a different way - it's more open, accessible, developer communities, open source - and you're going to see us do more of that."

Tech transformation

Collary joined ANZ at the end of 2014 from Citibank, where he was a CIO responsible for consumer banking tech in North America.

After taking several months "just understanding how the company worked" he then began looking at how the bank's development teams designed and deployed new technology.

"Historically we have built [innovations] individually in New Zealand, Australia and Asia," explains Collary.

"What we're looking at more and more is enterprise capability - instead of building a notification service three different times, for three different places, we're building it once then through APIs and other integration capabilities we're exposing it to everybody."

There's been a transformation, Collary says, from building technology that's "built to last, really proprietary, heavily structured, based on processes" to a model of "continuous delivery".

A year after Collary joined the business, ANZ named its new CEO, Shayne Elliott. His appointment further elevated the focus on technology, says Collary, making it "a bigger part of what we do". That's set to continue with former Google Australia and New Zealand boss Maile Carnegie joining the bank as group executive digital banking later this month.


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