ANZ to deploy iPads following due process: Weatherston

Chief information officer says the bank is investigating a tablet rollout and desktop virtualization
ANZ Bank CIO, Anne Weatherston

ANZ Bank CIO, Anne Weatherston

ANZ Bank's chief information officer, Anne Weatherston, has revealed that the banking group is investigating the roll out of iPads to senior management as part of its bring your own (BYO) computing policy and is at the beginning of a desktop virtualization process starting with its Active Directory.

Speaking during the company's IT strategy roadmap to 2017 briefing in Sydney, Weatherston said that it currently allows a limited amount of BYO devices and was looking at the legal position with respect to a wider rollout of iPads.

Read more ANZ news.

"There are some quirks of Australian commercial law which mean that the way in which people use iPads mean there are some contractual issues that we would be concerned about. It's more of a legal issue than a security issue at this point of time."

She also said that the way in which it deployed iPads and the functionality it allowed were under consideration by the ANZ board in Melbourne.

"We are not against them, we just want to be sure that we are covered from both legal and security perspectives," she said.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Weatherston has been warned by lawyers that board members would not be allowed to use the iPad to manage their papers because of concerns about the retention of data. That was because annotations of board papers constituted a legal document and it was up to Apple or application developers to work around the problem.

Turning to desktop virtualization, she said it has started replacing its Active Directory system -- a process that has been underway for the last nine months -- to create an environment which will be the first "foundation building block."

"The context behind the virtual desktop is that it will be device independent to allow BYO computing," Weatherston said. "We've already got significant rollout of IP capability on our network which we are going to extend. Our network investment has been critical on top of the Active Directory virtualization," she said. Further rollout of the desktop virtualization would take place in the second quarter of 2012 for the operations business in Sydney. According to ANZ, this would mean a single configuration for the whole of its bank across Asia and the Pacific regions which would allow increased collaboration.

"This is one of the big things our end users have been looking for as it allows video," she said.

While Weatherston would not say which vendors it was working with, she did say the deployment of telepresence technology was linked to ANZ's longer term strategy to be a super-regional bank across Asia Pacific in 2017.

Deputy chief executive officer, Graham Hodges, said that telepresence was not only good for its bottom line but also meant people did not have to travel across the region all the time.

"Having the ability to hold virtual team meetings and have customer meetings, those ideas as a super regional bank are very important," Hodges said.

According to Hodges, ANZ spends $1.5 billion on technology every year.

Weatherston also confirmed the bank was looking to deploy analytics across all of its businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

"What we are doing now is standardising and consolidating analytics because we're starting with our funds transfer pricing (FTP) Liquidity department and we've selected the Officer analytics suite which we are piloting."

However, Weatherston added that the bank "may not stay with Officer" because it was also building on its current Oracle suite at the corporate level and was also using software as a service (SaaS).

"With respect to [ANZ] customer data, we are holding that in the institutional database while, with overseas operations, we are trying to get an architectural view of the overall technology," she said.

As part of its five-year IT plan, ANZ would call on overseas centres for extra help but would not outsource IT staff as Weatherston indicated in May 2010 that she was not a fan of outsourcing as having a strong technology division was critical to the success of the bank.

"We have in excess of 6000 staff working in technology across the bank so we now have a detailed line of sight of each individual. We have more demand [for IT] than we have resources so we can tap into a number of centres regionally in Australia and Bangalore to augment the skills we currently have.”

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More about: ANZ, Apple, Australian Financial Review, Australian Financial Review, etwork, Oracle
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