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The next phase of mobility

Finance executives discuss how the uptake of cloud services and rise of mobile devices are creating a 24x7 customer-driven environment. They share insights on how they are working through these rapid changes, while preparing for the next business technology trend, at a recent CIO roundtable held in conjunction with Samsung.

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Around the table:

Christine Jull, technology transition manager, IT financial services, The Warehouse

Craig Sims, chief operating officer, ANZ Bank

Damon Murfitt, Head of Information Technology, NZ Funds Management

Deane Johns, CIO, New Zealand Association of Credit Unions

Ed Saul, director, Pinnacle Life

Lincoln Watson, general manager, group information systems, New Zealand Guardian Trust Company

Miles Fordyce, group technology manager, New Zealand Post

Peter Chisnall, New Zealand country manager, MasterCard

Richard Horton, chief information officer, Fidelity Life Assurance

Stuart Pattison, senior business analyst, AIA New Zealand

Waka Donnelly, IT manager, AIG Insurance NZ

Ryan Cotterell, head of information security, ASB Bank

Verdon Kelliher, enterprise director, Samsung NZ

Jon Feather, enterprise manager, banking and financial services, Samsung NZ

Divina Paredes, editor, CIO New Zealand (moderator)

Finance executives say the uptake of cloud services and rise of mobile devices are creating a 24x7 customer-driven environment.

They share insights on how they are working through these rapid changes, while preparing for the next business technology trend, at a recent CIO roundtable held in conjunction with Samsung.

Here are excerpts from the discussion:

What does mobile mean for your organisation?

Deane Johns, New Zealand Association of Credit Unions (NZACU): Mobile is about convenience for our members, but also about trying to building growth and growth in memberships, as well.

Richard Horton, Fidelity Life: Mobility is all about providing a faster, a more convenient way to interact with our external customers.

Damon Murfitt, NZ Funds Management: Mobility is two-fold for us. One is security: it's the expectation that I can just turn up to work and use a device, and how do we do that?. The other side is we are trying to build great client relationships, and the expectation out there is they will be able to interact with our services over mobile devices. So it’s how do we build on that, deliver it; what does it look like?

Lincoln Watson, New Zealand Guardian Trust: Our main job at the moment is to merge the operations of two businesses, however to support growth, the other part of my role is to write and deliver our digital strategy. Mobility for us is really about enablement for our clients and advisors, absolutely, but also about transforming our business.

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Mobility for us is really about enablement for our clients and advisors, absolutely, but also about transforming our business.

Lincoln Watson, NZ Guardian Trust

Miles Fordyce, New Zealand Post: The next phase of mobility for me is around Identity. It's around helping people to define their personal identity and their business identity; and how mobility really defines our overall direction, how others see us, how we want to interact going forward.

Peter Chisnall, MasterCard, New Zealand: We have just released our online digital wallet platform into the market, a product called MasterPass, a convenient online payment form effectively a competitor to other digital wallet solutions such as PayPal. The next step in this journey of digital payments convergence is for us is to enable that same piece of technology to allow people to purchase in person at point of sale, via mobile devices.

Waka Donnelly, AIG Insurance: One of our key objectives here at AIG is how we enhance our mobile workforce and enable the delivery of information in a secure manner through approved devices and managed client software.

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AIG NZ is part of a global End User Technology initiative, one of the main drivers is to ensure we build a stable mobile platform as part of our service offering to the customer.

Stuart Pattison, AIA New Zealand: Mobility from a life insurance perspective means providing the advisers with information to allow them to place the policy easily and for that to be interactive. It's about getting data to them so that they can complete those transactions. In terms of my involvement in big data, I'm interested in mobility of capturing data and feeding it back so you can analyse trends and patterns to move towards a more customer centric, rather than an information centric offering.

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Ed Saul, Pinnacle Life: Seven years ago, we launched the business with the primary objective of a paperless direct to consumer technology eliminating all the paper train. When we launched it, it was aimed at people pretty much sitting at their desks, and today it's primarily people that are accessing us not from their desks. It's all about mobility today.

The technology, of course, has changed, tremendously. We launched a website and because we wanted a rich user interface, we used Flash;, and of course, we obviously have had to replace that, particularly because of the mobile challenges involved. It’s been very challenging, because of the myriad of different devices, form factors, and sizes. It's much easier to design for a laptop screen than a mobile screen. So it's been very challenging, but very exciting and very interesting. And of course because we're a direct to consumer business, mobile really means accessing us and accessing our products anywhere at any time in the most convenient way.

Beyond BYOD

Miles Fordyce, NZ Post: The question actually is, “Why do you want to manage it in the first place? Do you need it to manage it?” And is the fear mongering amongst some of our security folk which are breathing down our necks, some of them in the business, trying to stop something which I think we don't have any great ability to control. Instead of managing it, the question should be “How do you embrace it and make it fit with your organisation?”

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If you do need to manage the mobility aspects in your organisation, you are creating a challenge that will be very difficult to unstitch in a couple of years’ time. So the question is, “How do you embrace the technology, which is already there?” And whether or not it's mobile or any other technology really, how do you actually create an environment that creates the flexibility for your organisation to be as flexible as possible?

Stuart Pattison: Embrace (for BYOD bring your own device) is definitely the word. It is making sure that your infrastructure and your capabilities are moving in the same direction as things seem to be moving.

Deane Johns, New Zealand Association of Credit Unions: We have just launched our mobile banking app (AccessMobile). On the first week, we got had 1800 downloads, and we are only just getting around to start advertising the links. Surprisingly, the biggest downloads have been Android, not Apple. I don't know if that's the future, but right now, that's what they want. They want the convenience, the device as such is not our problem, but just it just has to work. And there is an expectation that it will work.

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Richard Horton, Fidelity Life Assurance: We have absolutely no control over consumerisation from an external standpoint, but we have a much better ability to exert influence over what happens internally. We're not a huge organisation, maybe 250 odd people, and we have taken a very minimal approach internally and we simply said look, you can have access to the wider Internet, you can bring your device, you can have email on it if you like. That's all we're doing so far. Externally, however, it's a very different kettle of fish. We have to respond and we have to compete in the marketplace and make sure that we have an offering that works for our customers, otherwise we just won't cut it.

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Waka Donnelly, AIG:12 months, we jumped on the BYOD bandwagon, because we felt we had to make an offer to our internal stakeholders. Where is it today? It's probably not big on the agenda at present and interest has slowly declined. In the last two to three years AIG has invested and enormous amount of time and effort around securing customer data, the key driver is avoiding data leakage of sensitive information within the workplace. Losing control of your external devices can inevitably compromise your data security and brand.

‘Mobile first’

Craig Sims, ANZ Bank: Nowadays all the banks and financial services are seeing that customers actually get access to us through mobile devices more than desktops and other devices. The reality is, mobile first is the way we design the strategies. Whereas, a year or two ago, it was digital on the desktop. Our customer base and our workforce, are asking us to go mobile first.

Read more: ‘Traditional’ banks may not exist by 2025: PwC

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Our customer base and our workforce, are asking us to go mobile first.

Craig Sims, ANZ Bank

It is the data, not the device

Miles Fordyce, NZ Post: I look at the way technology is heading and I'm looking at the fact that you will end up with more and more personal data on your mobile device, but how much corporate data will actually be stored on the physical device versus the cloud? So that's just the accessibility of that data. And as speeds and data access get better, it's probably going to be less and less corporate data that's actually on the device. It is just a means to get access to that information.

To what point do we need containerisation to separate our personal data versus our corporate data and corporate information? I think most people feel their personal life and their business life are so integrated that it's very difficult to separate them out, particularly on a mobile device. It goes back to my point around identity. The mobile device should be who I am, I can pay for stuff, I can buy stuff;, it's designed around me as a person. So it individualises my experience, both with my personal life and with my company. And do I really want to go down the separation path?

Think differently with mobile

Craig Sims, ANZ Bank: People are using 1980s logic to solve today's mobility challenges which simply doesn't work. In fact you have to flip that thinking on its head to see a way around it. Security has been seen as an obstacle to providing staff with smartphones, but our customers are freely using these devices so our people need to do the same. Rather than create a white list of approved apps, we were better to just create secure containers protecting ANZ data while keeping the device open and usable for all other functions. That gives our staff more freedom to explore mobile. I've noticed the more we give our colleagues open access to these devices, the more they actually use them in a safe and productive way. You've got to protect your data, because we're a trust organisation so you can't get around it. But I would actually encourage getting more mobile devices out to your teams to find what is possible. And through that trial you'll then see where your boundaries are.

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Security has been seen as an obstacle to providing staff with smartphones, but our customers are freely using these devices so our people need to do the same.

Craig Sims, ANZ Bank

Verdon Kelliher: Samsung's view on this is that you are not only on your device, you're not only going to have your information there as well, you're going to have your customer's information a lot of the time. And so we do think that protecting that information is really, really important. We also think that the users want their data protected from the business as well, but they want to have that experience that's really, really easy.

Samsung has been working on this for a few years and last year brought Knox to market. New Zealand was the very first country in the world to sign up a Knox customer. We see the trends that the device is what people want to have - one device and they want to be able to use it for everything. But the worry is around protecting your data. If you lose your phone at the pub, how do you protect it (data)? How do you ensure that you're not going to be giving away data, details of your customers? Our answer to that would be Knox, it is agnostic around what platform you’ll be able to use. With fingerprint access we make it really, really simple.

Leading through change

Stuart Pattison, AIA New Zealand: Technology will just progress, things will be added without you really noticing. I look back at the mobile phone in the 80s and it was just a big brick. Somehow it's morphed into what it is now. Actually it got really, really small and it grew back up again because it was too small for people. There are experimentations, people will like or don’t like it. It's a bit like natural selection. And again, the way to manage it is to try and predict what's going to happen and ensure that your structures are prepared for it. And when it is there, you’re closer to implementation than if you had done nothing.

The way to manage it is to try and predict what's going to happen and ensure that your structures are prepared for it. And when it is there, you’re closer to implementation than if you had done nothing.

Stuart Pattison, AIA New Zealand

Peter Chisnall, MasterCard: New Zealand is particularly good at adopting technology very quickly. We launched our digital wallet platform here recently. We are in the top 20 countries and we do business in over 200 countries. So New Zealand is naturally a good market to launch the latest in payments technology.

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About two years ago, we put together a video on YouTube called MasterCard 2020. It showed a musician and she was asked to play at a concert on very short notice. She used her coffee table as a connected device to source a dress for the event. The reply came back saying the dress could be delivered in time, but one of her good friends also had the same dress. The digital display presented a virtual fitting room where she virtually tried on and purchased an alternate outfit. All of this sounds very futuristic, but it won't be 2020 when these things happen. It’s going to happen in the next 12 to 24 months.

Christine Jull, The Warehouse:Multichannel is a big thing in retail. The intersection of, ‘Where do I find something? Where do I buy it from? How do I pay for it? What am I doing it on?’ How those things come together is a really interesting concept.

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Financial services/Banking, and the MasterCards and Visas of the world are very much being challenged by how technology and payment is now converging. It seems to consumers that it's very simple on top, but what's underneath has just become increasingly more challenging and more complex. So, simplicity is what we all desire. Customers have greater expectations, but actually making that simplicity real is very difficult to achieve but absolutely necessary.

The new focus groups

Craig Sims, ANZ Bank: Most of the focus groups are just online panels now and customers are actually involved in the design of digital solutions. So when we design a solution, we actually have customers in the room, shaping whether they like this and that feature. We are always involving customers, be it corporates or individuals, in designing the solutions.

Ed Saul, Pinnacle Life:There's a different challenge that we've had and it may not be the same challenge that everybody is going to face. But in insurance, in particular life and health insurance, the traditional products tend to be very complicated. And to present those products online was a challenge eight years ago.

We managed to overcome that challenge;, we presented the product, but we did simplify the products quite a lot. And you have to, especially when you're going direct to a consumer. You have to present something that people can absolutely understand without needing somebody to hold their hand. But the mobility and the shrinking form factor is taking it to another level. When you're putting it on a screen this size [a laptop] you can provide in a way that it's easy to navigate and easy to digest. But when you try to do it on a phone you have to present a life insurance product with all that collateral in that tiny space, it's an entirely different challenge. And the way that we've had to solve that again is by further simplifying the product.

The technology, the mobility, is actually having a significant influence on the products. You can't just take the old products and just push them through mobile channels. So it's actually forcing a whole rethink in product design and product development. And I think that that's something that we found extremely interesting.

You can't just take the old products and just push them through mobile channels. So it's actually forcing a whole rethink in product design and product development.

Ed Saul, Pinnacle Life

The next big thing is already here

Verdon Kelliher, Samsung: The devices are about to change in a big, big way. Devices are about to become your kitchen bench top at home, or a window in your house, or your car screen. We’re doing these projects all around the world where this technology is no longer just tablet or a laptop. So when you're having to build software you have to think about it in such a broader sense. So the benchtop at home will be a computer screen. That is where you'll be ordering things. The latest fridges are computer run, they have got a screen built into the front.

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TV technology is really taking off, where you just pay for what you want to watch or pay per view to choose. At the moment, it is still too hard to do banking on the TV, but it won't be for much longer. Think about those form factors when you're integrating for your customers. When I'm reviewing my insurance policy, for instance, I want all that information right there. And so that's the changes that I see coming through.

We're doing a project with a car company around the world where the car is integrated with your house and everything. So you're going to be talking to the car on how much you are overdrawn today in your bank account. Your car will be able to have that conversation with you as you're driving into work.

In pictures: CIO roundtable on 'Preparing for the next phase of mobility'

In the insurance sector I think the change is going to happen faster in your space. One of the key things I'm seeing is clothing that continuously monitors your health using nanotechnology. So if you're in the insurance sector and you've got a group of your consumers whose health has been monitored by what they're wearing like a shirt or their cap or their glasses or whatever it is, and that information is being fed backwards and forward from the GP, they're less of a risk for you. And so you're going to charge them less. That will be here soon, really soon.

This is the first of a series of CIO roundtable discussions on 'The next phase of mobility' in conjunction with Samsung.

Photos by Jason Creaghan

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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