Australian Finance Group Goes All-Cloud In Formidable Innovation Strategy

Rapidly after Jaime Vogel joined Australian Finance Institution as CIO 4 years ago, he determined that the agency’s IT version became in want of an overhaul to make sure it could meet the growth and competitive possibilities beforehand. Digitally adept financial generation startups already have been nibbling at the home-mortgage and other organizations of AFG’s nationwide network of agents, now at about 2 six hundred members, even as the company turned into increasing into new markets, consisting of industrial finance, insurance, and securities. It becomes time for Bold adjustments to be Mad.

About a yr into the job, Vogel went to AFG’s board with a plan: Step by step, migrate all the business enterprise’s IT programs and infrastructure to the cloud. The broader aim: Redirect IT spending that had gone typically to system preservation and help to patron-dealing with and sales-generating initiatives. Begin innovating more, treading waterless. Vogel floated a watch-popping stretch purpose: Allocate seventy-five% of IT spending to innovation instead of the recurring 20%.

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“We could see that next era of fintechs coming via, and we noticed that area as a possibility,” says Vogel, who notes AFG’s new partnership with US-based totally Biz2Credit to convey its small enterprise online lending marketplace to Australia. “Now we don’t forget ourselves to be a kind of installed fintech, but there’s also a chance there to our commercial enterprise model, so we had to make certain that something we’re spending on IT turned into giving us the quality bang for our dollar. The belief turned into that, if we’re continuously innovating and supplying our customers and agents the nice gear to successfully run their businesses, then they’ll preserve partnering with us.”

Software Heavy Lifting


Vogel and his team started through transferring AFG’s Microsoft Alternate and SharePoint applications to the cloud, in addition to a handful of other “easy” structures with minimum impact on the agency’s patron base. Then came the enterprise’s middle platforms, including its Oracle employer useful resource planning, commercial enterprise intelligence, incentive reimbursement, making plans, and report management applications.

In all, AFG moved about 80 applications to the cloud, permitting the organisation in May also 2016 to shut down its information centers, which were underutilized. (The preliminary goal changed into to move most effective one of those facts centers to the cloud. However, six months into the transition, the management crew determined to head all-in.)

Vogel estimates that the shutdown saves the employer approximately AU$500,000 (US$385,000) a year in operational fees, at the same time as the new cloud offerings deliver a current function set, as well as contemporary APIs that improve integration and automation.

But the overall gain is a good deal extra, as the cloud transition has freed up cash for Vogel to expand his group, in addition, to shift some humans to more productive paintings. For instance, the team’s former IT operations supervisor is now in a non-stop development position, answerable for evaluating contemporary business processes with an eye in the direction of boosting performance, lowering costs, and upping the satisfaction of customer support. Interim, Vogel has grown his group from 22 human beings 4 years ago to 36 today—on an extraordinarily flat IT prices range. Those 14 extra humans are all developers, “in basic terms focused on creating new merchandise for our agents,” he says.