An Interview with Geoff Wenborn, General Manager, Technology Strategy and Transformation, National Australia Bank


FST Media: Your role is GM of technology strategy and transformation. What does that role entail and what are your three main priorities for the next 18 months?

Wenborn: The role is responsible for technology strategy, architecture, innovation, demand management capability, corporate development (organic and inorganic) and technology transformation. The three key areas of focus are the next generation platforms initiatives, the transition of the NAB IT services model and our focus on technology experience.

FST Media: In its half yearly results, the National Australia Bank earmarked $1 billion to overhaul its core banking systems. What will be your main focus for the overhaul?

Wenborn: The Next Generation Platforms initiative will look to re-platform all of the NAB information systems platforms over the next five to seven years. The investment strategy is in line with the normal investment in the business and is a key part of the efficiency and quality agenda. We will look to enable new business models and outcomes and start with some shorter term testing of products on the banking platform as we progressively work out the migration and sequencing approach. Minimising risk and providing real return as the program progresses is a key focus.

FST Media: Web 2.0 is increasingly becoming part of banks’ technology strategy. How do you see Web 2.0 technologies impacting the way NAB presents and delivers its product offerings?

Wenborn: New technologies have always been part of the deployment strategy in the bank’s IT strategy. The capability of Web 2.0 to provide new ways of customer and business interaction in financial services is quite exciting when linked with the industrial platforms’ technology capability. We are looking to ensure deployment of Web 2.0 technologies as part of our initiatives to improve the technology experience. We are also looking to ensure that developments in consumer technology (often labelled Web 2.0) can be leveraged into the fabric of the enterprise technology landscape. There are multiple initiatives underway to ensure we can make our channels as open as possible to our customers through new collaboration technologies.

FST Media: Every IT leader, particularly at your level, has a legacy they wish to be remembered for. What is yours?

Wenborn: On a personal level I would hope to be able to inspire others to think differently and find ways to innovate. On a broader level, and as part of the NAB IT leadership, through our transformation initiatives our objective is to “change the game” for technology in the NAB. It is an exciting time for technology in the NAB as we are at the forefront of enabling a step change in business capability and business value from technology.