Meet our Cloud Centre of Excellence leader
As a Delivery Lead in the Platform Squad, I’m focused on the leadership of Nationwide’s Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE). That involves everything from ground up creation and operational design through to building out the CCoE to its current state. I’ve got a great team which I’m really proud of and we’ve had an incredibly busy six months from when the CCoE proposal was agreed to our big launch at HQ earlier in May.Read more
What’s your background?
My whole career has centred on technology driven change. I’ve worked with most of the UK high street banks along with numerous global institutions in the past 20+ years, in interim management positions and prior to that consulting with IBM. A consistent theme in my career has been helping these organisations adapt to new technology, evolving their working practices to embrace and exploit new opportunities as they emerge.
What does your day-to-day work involve?
We’re still in the process of growing the team and our capability while simultaneously delivering cloud solutions. So I’m regularly involved in supporting the team with their challenges, whether related to resourcing, delivery, technology, partnering or the ways we work.
What’s exciting about the work?
For a start every day is different and presents new challenges. The vibe in our team is what I imagine a start-up would feel like in terms of challenge, pace and high ambition. We’ve made some great strides in a short period of time through working with industry partners, and through using some great new tech. We’re delivering incrementally, so benefits can be seen rapidly, rather than working on something huge that takes a lot longer to see results. These are all factors that really motivate me and the team.
What are the challenges?
A key challenge is balancing the need to move at pace and not reinvent the wheel, without adopting AN Other company’s vision of what Cloud should be, which could present us with longer term challenges.
It’s also fair to say we are still on a journey of embracing and maturing our agile delivery, so there can be tension around expectations of new and old ways of working. This presents challenges for sure, but the way we’re going about the work, educating people along the way, showing results quickly while keeping our member security close to everything we do, and respecting controls, means we’re continually improving.
In the Cloud CoE we’ve also got great sponsorship and backing from the top down, which helps us so much day to day across all our work.
What are you looking for in terms of new talent?
We’re looking for people with the right mind-sets – problem solvers, self-starters and team players who are comfortable working at pace. People who can make risk-based decisions, who can innovate, but appreciate that this is a regulated industry and there are boundaries to respect. We’ve got a strong brand and high expectations from our members, so we must strike the right balance. But if you are passionate about making change for the better, want interesting, challenging work in financial services in a supportive environment, we’re a great team to join. Plus alongside our strong bases in Swindon and Bristol, we’re expanding around the country.
Yes, we’re obviously looking for Cloud Specialists, but we value well rounded people who understand a range of modern technology and change disciplines. I believe the days of being a niche expert are diminishing – things move too quickly now to become pigeon holed.
How is Nationwide different to other organisations you’ve worked for?
We’re about exploitation of new technology for sure, but we’re genuinely aligned as a company around the one goal of being here of the benefit of our members. I find it makes for a better work atmosphere with significantly less internal competition and waste compared to other organisations I’ve worked with.