Capital One is a financial services company specialising in credit cards. Based in Nottingham, it is a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation in the US. CIO Rob Harding is also a UK vice president, and has been at the Capital One IT team since 1999.

When did you start your current role?

Have you completed an MBA?

Order the following sources of advice/information by value to you:
1. In-house
2. Peer group
3. Analyst
4. Vendors
5. Consultant

Technology strategy and spending

What is the major transformational IT project that has been recently completed, or is underway at your organisation?
We recently completed the second phase of our underwriting innovation programme.

What impact will it/does it have on the organisation?
The second phase saw us implement a new work flow engine to complement the decision engine investments we made in 2012. Both are enabling us to react more quickly to the market. The new solution is proving easier to adapt so we can continually evolve the way in which we help match the right products to potential customers. It is also proving more efficient to use for our operations team.

What new strategic technology deals has your organisation struck and with whom?
We recently renewed our application delivery contract with WIPRO

Name your strategic technology suppliers?

How much is the IT operational spend compared to the revenue or company turnover as a percentage?

What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
To support the growth of our UK business and to drive our digital transformation plans.

Transformation achievements

Would you describe the CIO role as a transformation leader in your organisation?
Yes. In addition to the accountability for our technology agenda I am also leading the digital transformation for the UK business

Describe the transformations you have led / been involved in, how did they transform operations, customer experience or the organisation?
2006 – 2008: Changing our core billing platform and rebuilding all the surrounding systems. Led to a much improved cost efficiency for our UK business and a significant leap forward in customer experience driven by a combination of infrastructure stability and improved digital channels. A new data warehousing solution implemented in parallel provided enhanced operational reporting and marketing analytics.

2010 – 2013: Achieving compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

2011: Enhanced infrastructure monitoring – created the ability to reduce customer impacting incidents through more granular monitoring of our estate.

2011-2014: Underwriting innovation programme. The programme has been tackling decision engine, work flow and data extensibility with the aim of improving our ability to execute credit decisions and adapt at pace to the changing market.

2012 – 2013: Partnerships foundations – implementation of solutions that enable rebranding of key customer touch points to enable faster time to market where we are white labeling partner cards.

2012 – 2014: Refresh of our Nottingham data centre – replacement of compute, network and storage to lay the foundations for an internal cloud capability.

Beyond technology, can you describe a business transformation programme that you own or contribute to?
I own the digital transformation plans for our UK business. The plans cover all aspects of digital transformation across culture, organisation, technology and measurement

What key technologies are being considered to enable transformation?
For me, this is less about the technology foundations themselves and much more about the business as a whole revaluating how we bring things to market. It starts with us solving our customers’ and employees' needs digitally first. We are reinvigorating our approach to innovation through our Agile transformation and encouraging collaboration across our organisation which is substantially reducing our time to market.  I expect mobile and analytics to continue to play important and increasing roles in our business plans.

What percentage of your applications / infrastructure is run from the Cloud?
0% of applications and infrastructure run from public cloud. We have plans for creation of an internal cloud and to pilot external cloud over the next few years.

How is the use by employees of their own technology, use of mobiles and social networking impacting operations, customer experiences or the organisation at present?
Last year we rolled out an internal social networking platform that is improving interaction across the organisation from blogs to information sharing through to aiding project collaboration.

We have a secure WiFi network separate from our primary network that is available to our employees in our UK offices. This allows them to connect their personal devices to the internet.

We still provide the workforce technology our employees require directly and at present Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is not a high priority for us.

Do you have a plan in place for how to deal with shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives, place the right controls around employee choice and engage with the organisation on this issue?
I’m comfortable with the shadow IT groups as they exist. As we seek to transform ourselves into a more digital business I actually think it is positive that more and more groups are emerging with a dual skill set e.g. technology and data sciences. My team works across our business to ensure that we are sustainably well managed with regard to information security, procurement of technology services and change management. Generally groups partner well with IT and we continually adapt our structure and processes to ensure that we are meeting their changing needs as well as the compliance and regulatory environment.

To engage executives I provide a lot of transparency into IT’s budget and performance. Our technology investment plans are put together with full participation of the executive team so that we are ensuring we balance strategic needs with tactical moves we need to make.

In relation to BYOD, if employees need mobile, laptop, tablet devices as part of their role we provide these. We support WiFi for BYOD for internet access but at the moment there is no business case for a full BYOD strategy.

Where do you seek transformational inspiration from?
Primarily every day life

The CIO role in the business

Who do you report to?
CEO of European business

Does the CIO have a seat on the board?

How often do you meet with the CEO?

Does your organisation have a digital leader and what is the difference in their responsibilities to yours?
I own the Digital Transformation imperative for the European business. Each of our leaders is expected to be digital leader.

What percentage of IT budget do you control and what percentage of IT budget does your digital peer hold?
I control 100%

The IT department

How many staff make up the IT team? (What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff)
Around 230 permanent employees in Nottingham and around 300 supplier resources

Describe the CIO’s management team, do you have direct reports that develop the relationship and services between the business and IT?
Head of Office of the CIO (supplier management, Risk Office, Information Security and Business Continuity).
Head of Architecture
Head of IT Delivery (Application Development, Engineering, Project Management, Digital teams).
Head of Integrated Production Support (Data Centre, Service and Incident Management)
I believe that all of the leaders within IT should develop relationships across the organisation.

And how many log-in accounts do you issue across you organisation?
Around 1900 logins

What is the primary technology platform? ( for example ERP, Website, trading system)
The core technology system is TSYS’ TS2 platform. This provides our core credit card processing functionality.