BPAY Wins CIO Award for Tech Transformation

- By Collaborative Media & Publishing
Underlying the transformation of the BPAY Group in recent years has been another important transformation – that of the company’s technology.
BPAY Group’s technology team is now more customer focussed, nimble and collaborative, and better able to support the ambitions of the BPAY Group as it offers new services to customers and develops new businesses.
Leading this success is Angela Donohoe, who joined as CIO four years ago and has guided the IT transformation. Angela and her team’s work have now been recognised by CIO Magazine, which has included her in its list of top 50 IT leaders – the CIO50 2020.
“As Chief Information Officer for BPAY Group, Angela Donohoe was a central figure in arguably the most transformative period in the organisation's history,” the magazine said in her citation.
After a long career in banking, payments and government, Donohoe heard about the opportunity to join BPAY Group four years ago, but initially wasn’t sure she wanted to.
Having been CIO for organisations including payments software company Cuscal and the NSW Office of State Revenue, she initially wondered if the BPAY role might have been a bit “small” for her, but that changed after a meeting with CEO John Banfield.
“What's really important to me is working for an organisation that has an understanding of technology and an interest in investing, transforming and moving forward,” she says.
“I felt there was opportunity to lead some technology transformation at BPAY Group that would be interesting. And I'd see where it would go because of the company’s commitment to innovation and its desire to move forwards in new directions.”
Finding new opportunities to create innovation
On taking the job, one of Donohoe’s first challenges was to oversee BPAY Group’s move of its IT infrastructure from ageing data centres to the cloud. It was an important job because BPAY has a conservative risk appetite – it has a central role in Australia’s financial infrastructure and needs to ensure confidence in the security and reliability of its services.
There was also another and more enduring challenge beyond the move to the cloud. “The challenge set by the Board was to find new opportunities to create an innovation culture and to demonstrate that the company was actually capable of innovating,” Donohoe says.
“The business was being challenged to move forward and innovate; to find new value for its shareholders and stakeholders.”
For the technology team, this meant refocussing from a technology-led IT strategy to a business-led IT strategy.
“One of the things I set about doing was to really work on shifting the mindset of our teams so that we understood the business context. Without business understanding and support, we were going to fall short of what the business required from us,” Donohoe says.
She worked to change the culture and to develop strong relationships with other parts of the business so that IT could be more collegiate.
By 2018, the transition of the IT infrastructure to private cloud was largely complete, so Donohoe turned her mind to developing a new IT strategy.
Surging annual technology releases
Working with her senior technology leaders, Donohoe shaped the new strategy around four themes – better solutions for customers; better use of technology for the BPAY Group’s people and external collaborators; better use of data and analytics; and finally, better governance and decision making.
The focus on governance was important because it was about creating more transparency so that decisions better reflected business priorities. This ensures stakeholders understand why the technology team is spending time and money working in different areas.
“We have an annual IT refresh program. And in that, we consider where we should be improving or changing our underlying technologies or upgrading those in order to maintain the health of our services,” Donohoe says.
The IT team also looked closely at how it worked with the BPAY Group people and with customers and realised there was scope to do better. Working closely with the business product team, BPAY Group’s Developer Portal was conceived to help organisations access BPAY APIs and create new solutions. It was launched a year ago with four BPAY Payments APIs to create a one-stop shop for developers, product managers and other innovators to build new payment services.
The team are also making better use of automation technology across many areas of technology delivery, and as they have grown more skilful in using these tools and practices, agility and productivity has increased. The team is more productive than it was four years ago, yet has the same number of people, Donohoe says.
A key success measure is in the surge of annual technology releases. In 2016, there were just four releases of core applications compared with 38 last year.

Published by BPAY Pty Ltd (ABN 69 079 137 518) email: [marketing@bpay.com.au]).  The BPAY Scheme is managed by BPAY Pty Ltd.  BPAY is issued by over 150 BPAY Scheme participants.  When you use BPAY, the BPAY Scheme is paid fees relating to processing costs and BPAY Scheme membership.  Contact your financial institution to see if it offers BPAY and to get the Product Disclosure Statement.  Any financial product advice provided by BPAY Pty Ltd in relation to BPAY is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on such advice, you should review the Product Disclosure Statement and consider whether BPAY is appropriate for your personal circumstances.

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