CIO Australia is running its second annual CIO50 list which recognises Australia’s top 50 IT most innovative and effective IT chiefs who are influencing change across their organisations.
This year’s top 50 CIO list will be judged by some of Australia’s leading IT and digital minds. Our illustrious judging panel in 2017 includes the Australian government’s former chief digital officer and now Stone & Chalk ‘expert in residence’ Paul Shetler; and former Microsoft Australia MD and now CEO, strategic innovation at Suncorp, Pip Marlow.
CIO is taking a look back at last year's top 25. Today, we profile Anastasia Cammaroto, chief information officer at BT Financial Group who took the number 21 position in 2016.
Read Anastasia's story below:
#21: Anastasia Cammaroto, chief information officer, BT Financial Group
There can’t be many CIOs that have been styled, photographed and featured in Vogue. Anastasia Cammaroto, chief information officer of BT Financial Group, has. In October, she was profiled in an article “This is what a chief information officer does every day”.
The coverage came as part of a campaign, Vogue Codes, a partnership between the fashion bible and Westpac aimed at making technology more fashionable and breaking down some of the stereotypes that surround it.
“I’m fascinated to see what the next generation of girls is going to be because we’re having conversations now that say: ‘You can be anything,’” Cammaroto told the magazine last month.
BT Financial Group is one of Australia’s leading wealth management organisations, the wealth management arm of Westpac, which provide customers with a full spectrum of wealth services, including investment, superannuation and retirement income products, investment platforms, financial advice, private banking and insurance solutions.
Since 2012, BT has been building Panorama, a wealth management platform which integrates a range of investment options – managed portfolios, managed funds, term deposits, BT cash and listed securities as well as SMSF administration. Panorama has significantly changed the way BT delivers services to customers by allowing them to access all their investment and SMSF needs on one platform, utilising a customer-centred design and completely digital experience.
“With the development and delivery of Panorama, we recognised that to be one of the world’s great service companies you need to think about service and not product,” explains Cammaroto. “From the start of the Panorama process, we looked at the fact that our customers can come to the Westpac Group for all their financial needs. We needed to develop a seamless transition from everyday banking to super to investments to insurance so that customers can easily access all their financial information any way that they choose to.”
For customers, it also means avoiding filling in 15 page application forms by hand, for each product. There’s click to chat capabilities which help clients access personal services at the touch of a button. Customers are delighted.
The project was part of a broader objective of digital transformation and simplification, which leveraged the scale of the wider Westpac Group.
“We also focused on the customer experience, wanting to improve the experience and to help simplify the jargon of financial services across all of our technology channels,” Cammaroto adds.
To deliver this holistic service, Cammaroto says, the organisation “needed to establish new operating rhythms and structures between BT’s wealth division and the Westpac Group overall”.
Agile methodologies have been embraced at scale along with a culture of innovation. That required a clear vision and getting the whole team on board.
“Most importantly, we wanted our people to feel excited about the development,” says Cammaroto. “It was important to paint a vision and bring people along for the journey. Communication with our people was crucial to helping them to uncover opportunities for the technology. We also needed to take into account that people need time to process innovation and understand the impact it will have.”
Having the right people in the team was also crucial for innovation to happen. It was about “hiring smart, talented people and listening to those people”, Cammaroto says.
The group is now exploring the potential of machine learning and wearables.
“With machine learning, we are investigating how we can create algorithms that can help provide advice to more Australians, and how we can make our workforce more productive in digesting big data,” she says. “With wearable technology, we see technology on our wrists now that tells us about our health. For BT and the Westpac Group we are looking at how we can see our financial health on our wrists.”
Although there is a focus on innovation, the team couldn’t lose sight of the fundamentals.
“Keeping core operational systems running is simple hygiene; it is fundamental to being able to innovate. We need to have teams and people that are dedicated to maintaining our core systems, and with that in place, innovation can then follow. We need to be very aware of our vital system maintenance and our priorities. If our emails aren’t working, for example, there is no point in thinking about wearable technology. Our technology mandatories need to be visible, clean and articulated,” Cammaroto explains.
“It is crucial to have teams and processes that are super focused on our core operations. We also have groups of people that are working on innovation so that we don’t focus too much on the present and miss the future. And we need to be aware of and manage the tension that can result out of the two in a mature, open way.”
Within her organisation and beyond, Cammaroto sees herself as a “passionate advocate” for technology. From the firm’s executive board to the female STEM undergraduates she mentors at UTS – that passion is proving to be infectious.
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