During the last 12 months Barclays IT has concentrated on service delivery and improvement. “We have been focused on continued operational excellence to ensure stability of all the bank’s systems, and on improving performance,” says Kevin Lloyd, IT director for UK banking at Barclays. “The bank handles a huge and complex volume of transactions and whatever else you are doing, you can’t afford to drop that ball while continuing to move forward.”
He is referring to a very crowded change agenda Barclays is undergoing, which is part of a company-wide review of operations at the bank. The review includes business processes and standardising platforms and infrastructures. Last year it reorganised its IT department and began to use single suppliers for areas like applications development and communications. It signed a seven-year framework agreement with BT, which covers voice, LAN, WAN and firewall services, as well as extending its BPO deal with Siemens and its applications development contract with Accenture.
"“Infrastructure investment is a key activity at the moment”"
Kevin Lloyd, IT director for UK banking, Barclays
Lloyd says that increasing the use of single suppliers makes service provision to the rest of the organisation more efficient. “We have a service management wrapper architecture for the supply chain, and are reskilling our supply chain management activity,” he says. “Diligent supply chain management and the stability of our IT operations are key to the success of the company. We looked closely at our service performance management, how we assessed our capacity and reskilled accordingly.”
Like most financial institutions, Barclays is putting significant resources into its infrastructure. “Infrastructure investment is a key activity at the moment,” says Lloyd. “Customer facing channels like the website, the call centres and the branches are all undergoing a major update in technology. This includes self-service options in the branches and we have had a rebranding exercise, so our branches have had a facelift too. All the channels, underlying infrastructure and the brands of both Barclays and the Woolwich, have been undergoing these changes.”
Beyond these internal changes, Lloyd says the company will drive out new products and customer services aimed at hitting the bottom line. These projects, most of which are in development, are rolling over the next 18 months to three years.