When it comes to systems evolution, the 'putting lipstick on a pig' approach holds little attraction for Tom Clark, CIO for Leeds Building Society. Rather than pile features on top of the organisation's legacy services – and risk long-term resilience issues and delivery constraints as a result – his team have constructed a complete technology platform that is flexible and responsive enough to cope with ever changing needs and deliver future innovation.
It has taken several years, but 2017 saw Clark's unit complete the implementation of a distinctive mix of off-the-shelf packages that combine to create a loosely coupled environment that enables quick-to-market delivery and participation in open banking. The suite also supports the rapid future integration of niche fintech products and consumer devices.
Clark led a tremendous effort by the IT function to deliver this significant scale implementation. The project has defined the organisation's long-term technology stack and was the foundation for the migration of legacy systems to a component-based architecture. It represents the launchpad for future tech innovation in the organisation.
In bringing solutions to market, he has focused on 'innovation with a small i', delivering through lean and agile approaches. During 2017 he completed the re-engineering of the software delivery function into business-aligned squads to improve the pace of delivery. The response from the wider organisation has been excellent as a result of shrinking lead times for changes the business requires and solutions that meet those needs better.