Westpac, Australia’s oldest bank, is acknowledged as the web 2.0 leader among the big four banks in Australia. Please find below the presentationDavid Backley, CTO of Westpac, gave at the Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forumin February 2008.
Westpac fully embraces social media
I invite you to check an extremely interesting article on web 2.0: Westpac turns to Web 2.0 free for all.
It is always a pleasure to find out about a major bank implementing web 2.0 technologies “behind the firewall” (btf). Especially when it is a leading, old and traditional, bank. Usually, those initiatives are driven by the top of the IT Organization: it always helps if the CTO of the bank believes in blogs, wikis and social networking.
Please find below a few key extracts from the article. I wish more CTOs shared David’s vision on social media. Banks should embrace web 2.0 technologies. I believe David, and as a consequence Westpac, have the right approach.
“The rationale is that people will waste time if they want to waste time,” Backley says. “Most people who work for us will do the right thing, and see that others are doing the right thing. Many of these things can be self-managed.”
A liberal policy toward access to Web 2.0 sites might become necessary, he suggests, to attract skilled workers in the future.
“There is a war for talent out there,” he said. “The next wave of people we hire are going to be used to this kind of technology. In two or three years time, if [these potential employees] aren’t provided this technology inside the organisation, or at least a link to it from your network, that may affect their choices about who they work for.”
Banking 2.0: cut your teeth on “behind the firewall” projects first
I invite you to check my post/videocast on the four kinds of social media projects at a bank. “BTF projects” are easier to implement. The bank has “more control”, the content is only accessible internally, and there are ways to measure the impact on productivity or on the number of cross sell opportunities. Those projects are easier to sell to your Senior Executives.
The benefits of using social media and user generated content internally are tremendous. Providing wikis and blogs is an efficient, and cost effective, way to urge people to collaborate and increase their visibility in the bank. It helps them identify the relevant skills within the organization and work more efficiently. It could also help them to shine and create opportunities.
Imagine if internally you had access to a social network matching Linkedin’s quality of profiles and intuitive interface… Wouldn’t it be great? You are looking for some competitive intelligence info or insights on a specific industry: what if you just had to type in a few key words to find your colleagues with the relevant background and contacts in the industry? How much time would you save?
The challenge does not lie in the technology or the platform (you can use MS sharepoint, Lotus Software, Facebook, or any kind of homegrown platforms) as long as the tools are secure and intuitive. The challenge lies in educating people, convicing them is is worth using those tools, filling up their profile, sharing their expertise on their blog, or contributing to the wikis.
It is critical to reward your members for their contribution and their time spent online.
A social network is only as good as the quality of its member profiles and its search feature.