Chris Brocklesby has made Tesco Bank a 'real' banking brand for its customers by creating a current account platform that required the co-ordination of multiple suppliers, complex regulatory approval, the addition of switching technology halfway through planning, and delivery of the bank's first mobile app.
When did you start your current role?
What is your reporting line?
I report to the CEO, Benny Higgins.
Do you meet with and discuss business strategy with the CEO every week?
Yes, through regular one-to-ones and the weekly executive committee meeting.
Are you a member of the board of directors?
What other executive boards do you sit on?
I sit on the risk management committee, I chair the project assessment committee (which allocates capital to projects and reviews progress) and attend the people matters group (which deals with all people issues such as policy, headcount approvals, performance management, etc). Finally, I chair the operational resilience steering group, which has oversight of all business continuity planning and IT resilience.
Does your organisation have a CDO?
Yes. Our chief digital officer has responsibility for design of the user experience and providing the product owners for our 'scrum' teams.
What non-technology responsibilities do you have in the organisation?
I run procurement and supplier management, which is responsible for the bank's total cost base and runs a formal supplier management framework that reviews and assesses supplier risk and independently assures that all suppliers are being managed appropriately. I also run the enterprise payments team, which is responsible for payments strategy and owns the relationship with the payment solution providers. In addition, I am responsible for business continuity and property.
How many employees does your organisation have?
How many users does your department supply services to?
How do you ensure that you have a good understanding of your business and how your customers use your business's products?
We act as partners with the business. As a member of the executive committee I am part of the team that develops the company's strategy and my team are part of the appropriate leadership team meetings with our business units. My IT leadership team spends time at each of the operational sites gaining insights on where incremental changes are required to improve business performance. We conduct user satisfaction surveys with all our key stakeholders.
To gain customer feedback on our digital product specifically, we have customers involved in most cells providing feedback on each sprint. We also use monitoring tools and tagging to analyse drop-out rates on mobile app and web products.
Tesco Bank technology strategy and agenda
Is your organisation being disrupted by the internet, mobility or technology-oriented start-ups?
Are you empowered by your organisation to disrupt from the inside?
Describe a disruptive measure you’ve led or played a major part in
I have created a separate digital team specifically to showcase agile and continuous delivery methods. Among other things, they have been responsible for our banking app and our new digital wallet (Payqwiq). They have leveraged cloud infrastructure and have set out a new way of working for the rest of the IT team to follow.
What major transformation project has been recently completed or is under way at your organisation?
We delivered the personal current account programme in June. This was a multi-year complex programme for the first new current account platform in the UK for over 10 years. It involved co-ordinating multiple suppliers, complex regulatory approval, the addition of switching technology halfway through planning and delivery of our first mobile app. The programme was delivered on time and on budget and went live without service issues for customers.
What impact will the above transformation have on your organisation?
The addition of a current account has a profound impact of customer perceptions of us as a bank. When asked who they bank with, most customers give the name of their current account provider. We can now be considered a 'real' bank and accelerate our ambitions for growth.
How has your leadership style contributed to the outcomes of the transformation project?
I was closely involved in the programme as co-sponsor but personally drove the IT delivery. In the final six months I led a daily 'stand up' where programme managers reported progress and highlighted issues which required escalation. This level of intensity was required to make sure we kept to schedule and delivered a quality solution.
What key technologies do you consider enable transformation?
IT delivery is being transformed by test-based development, continuous integration, automated testing and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). These components allow developers to focus on great design and great functionality to meet customers' needs.
Are you increasing the number of cloud applications or infrastructure in use at your organisation?
What is your information and data analytics vision for the organisation?
To be clearer on the need for genuine analytics as opposed to flexible reporting. Genuine deep analysis should be provided though user-driven, rich data sets that incorporate as much partner and external data as is needed and the best analysis tools. This is very relevant for risk-based pricing in insurance, where finding insight on the risk profile on specific cohorts is essential to profitability. We will gather some unique data by providing driver aids to customers which will provide insight into their own driving style.
How is mobile and social networking impacting operations and customer experience?
Our mobile channel take-up has outstripped our expectations, resulting in better customer service and lower contact centre costs. We have plans to significantly increase the functionality offered to customers and our apps have received enthusiastic feedback.
Customers now expect to talk to their bank through social media. We already have a specific Twitter desk and are implementing web chat in 2015. We have also deployed Yammer as an enterprise collaboration tool.
Describe your strategic vision towards shadow IT and BYOD. How do you influence and engage executives and employees around choice?
I have championed BYOD within Tesco. A trial has been successful and we will fully roll-out in 2015. The initial release will be for phones and tablets and provide mail, SharePoint and contacts, with more apps being placed in the containerised solution before year-end.
We have undertaken Yammer surveys to ascertain the best way forward for colleagues – ie, own device vs company-provided smartphone. Executive engagement has also played on the cost reduction opportunity of removing Blackberry and the improved security of an enterprise solution.
What strategic technology deals have been struck and with whom?
New deals recently have included an extension of our deal with Vodafone to take advantage of a cloud-based solution and a strategic customer contact management toolset.
Who are your main suppliers?
For technology, Vodafone, HP, IBM, Oracle, CA and Fujitsu.
For applications, TSYS, Fiserv and CDL.
Tesco Bank IT security and budget
Has your organisation detected a cyber intrusion in the last 12 months?
Has cyber-security risen up your management agenda?
Does your organisation understand the potential cyber-security threats it faces?
Has this led to an increase in your security budget?
What is the IT budget?
£65m for capital projects and £45m for running (ex depreciation).
How much is the IT operational spend compared to the revenue as a percentage?
What is the strategic aim of the CIO and IT operations for the next financial year?
Our core purpose is to 'deliver and improve the technology and operational shared services that make Tesco Bank better together'.
Are you finding it difficult to recruit the talent you need to drive transformation?
Has recruitment and retention risen up your agenda as a CIO?
Tesco Bank technology department
How would you describe your leadership style?
Open, driven, informal and focused on business outcomes.
Explain how you’ve supported and developed your senior leadership team to support your overall objectives and vision
I have recruited new IT directors to significantly improve the capability of the team. We have regular informal and formal sessions to stay connected and share issues. I have provided coaching and more formal training when required and sought out mentors for each of them from other members of the exec team. Each is given autonomy to drive their own agendas while knowing that I am always available to provide guidance when required.
How many employees are in your IT team?
What is the split between in-house/outsourced staff?
85% permanent headcount, 15% contractors. Outsource headcount not tracked.
Does your team include key skilled workers from the EU?