Innovation around new products and services needs to happen across the entire IT department rather than being consigned to "a dark corner in a basement", according to chief technology officer of Lloyds Banking Group, Bruce Mitchell.
Speaking at the CA Expo in London on Thursday, Mitchell said making innovation part of the entire IT team’s remit is vital as the bank looks to improve its services to customers and reduce costs.
"For us we began by demystifying innovation. We lifted it out of the labs so it’s no longer something done by people in a dark corner of the basement,” he said. “We’ve made it part of everything we do, so it’s a mindset and an approach, and we believe real value comes from applying and developing practical solutions to real-world problems.”
As part of this approach Mitchell said Lloyds has taken a more active approach towards the development and testing of new services so ideas can be more quickly considered and tried out.
“Part of the way we have found we can manage risk is by wrapping a process around it and developing a bit of a fast-failure approach to experimentation so you don’t get stuck on something for too long beyond its value,” he said.
“It’s also about investing in bringing the team closer to the innovation through the use of crowd sourcing to open up the agenda to the breadth of the team, rather than seeing it as a small group of the team that manage innovation for us.
One key area of innovation for Lloyds is around mobile as all banks rush to ensure customers can access services on smartphones and tablets. “I think as an industry we are increasingly focused on innovation and what that can mean to the bottom line of bank. Mobile is a big area of investment for us,” he said.
The rise of mobile services within the banking world was underlined earlier this week when Barclays expanded its Pingit service to allow big businesses to send payment to customers via their mobile phone numbers.
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