Nottingham Building Society is a building society founded in 1849 by a group led by Samuel Fox (1781-1868), a Quaker and prominent local grocer.

The purpose of the society was to promote the construction of a better class of dwellings, suitable for the working and middle classes, as well as provide a safe and profitable place for small savings.

The Nottingham Building Society was one of the first financial institutions to introduce online banking in 1983, with its Homelink service on Prestel. It is a member of the Building Societies Association.

IT leader: Jack Cutts, Head of IT.

In role since: I joined the organisation in March 2006 as Head of Development and became overall Head of IT in August of the same year.

Reporting line: Operations Director.

Board level seat: Member of the Senior Leadership Team.

IT budget: Circa £5 million per annum.

IT estate and or number of log on accounts under the control of the IT leader: 450.

IT staff currently employed: 45 plus transient IT consultants and others.

Split between in-house/outsourced staff: In-house 75%, outsourcing 25%.

IT management team and reporting structure:

  • Technical Architect.
  • Systems Development Manager.
  • Computer Services Manager.

Primary technology platforms at the organisation: Our primary Core System for Mortgage and Savings administration is called Summit supplied by Sopra.

Primary technology suppliers:

  1. Sopra.
  2. Esteem.
  3. Phoenix.
  4. Microsoft.
  5. Oracle.

Significant strategic technology deals struck in the last 12 months: We have agreed a new seven-year contract for the support and maintenance of our key mortgage and Savings platform from Sopra.

We have implemented a new Avaya telephony platform throughout the business.

Major technology or transformation project recently completed and how did it transform operations, customer experience or the organisation: We replaced our Core Savings platform with a new system in September 2012, on time, on budget with no major issues.

We moved to a new Head office building in January 2012, consolidating three disparate locations into one. Incorporating a full desktop, telephony, printing, internal communications and network refresh as part of the project.

Did the above project reach its cost, timing and transformation objective: The Core system was fully operational with few issues on day one. In the three months since implementation no major issues have occurred.

Minimal customer or team disruption as a result of the move. A full-year review has taken place and no significant issues were raised.

We have a rigorous Post Project Review process. This measures both hard financial benefits, the softer operational aspects of the project and how the governance of the project operated. These consolidated learnings are then fed back into the project initiation process to enhance the effectiveness of future projects.

Improvement in levels of customer service and satisfaction. IT provides key technologies where we enable customer facing team members to interact effectively and efficiently. Our very high Net Promoter score illustrates the impact this has had.

The whole area of effective customer communications is an area where we hope to differentiate ourselves in the future.

Within IT we strive to give the best possible service to our internal customers. One of the key areas of focus has been on helpfulness. In the latest survey on our performance the team scored an average of 9.2 out of 10 across all departments.

Strategic aim of the CIO and IT operation for the next financial year: Following years of transformation we have now the platform for growth. We hope to significantly increase our customer reach. My role will be to make this as seamless and noise free as possible.

Having a greater insight into our customer needs and integrating all of our communications with our customers in a cohesive way will be key to the next stage of our journey.

Technologies being considered to enable transformation: We have made great strides this year in the use of mobile technologies. On top of the obvious efficiencies this has already given us, this foundation work allows us to broaden this more, giving more customers a wider access to our products and services.

Transformational inspiration sources: Transformation is seen as a collective role within the business. We have an effective Programme Management team in which I play a major part. This is chaired by the CEO, as having a clear line of sight throughout the business is seen as critical to our on-going success. However, on a personal note I see pragmatism as the key. As expected IT is an integral part of my organisation. We underpin the success of the vast majority of initiatives on going at any one time. I am fortunate that with having a background in both business transformation and IT delivery I can use that experience to try and bridge the gap between what is really needed and what is practical.

I try not to limit myself to one source or another. I seek input from an eclectic mix, looking for best practice in other industries that is transportable, customer feedback and occasionally my daughters! All feedback is a gift.