The Technology Perspective
“It’s important to have passion and purpose in our business; to reinvent ourselves; to think about what comes next; to think beyond credit cards.”
Rob Harding has been with Capital One for 16 years. As Chief Information Officer, he focuses on running the tech team in the UK. This means he’s responsible for the end-to-end operation of everything that’s supported by tech – be that information security, data centres or systems.
“We are building a world class technology team. I’m looking for talented people that share one thing in common – they want to use technology to help our customers. When you are looking to change an industry your business needs to be highly adaptable. We have thought carefully about how to build teams from across our business to create fantastic products. We collaborate, we visualise our work and we build great solutions. We pride ourselves on creating an environment where people can come together to do the best work of their careers.
“Very little happens in a financial services company without technology being involved. It drives and enables what we do. This means my team plays a part in the majority of key initiatives. Things are changing fast. The fact that the current team is almost unrecognisable to the one we had in 2013, speaks to the pace and extent of that change.
“In terms of big innovation, we’ve changed the way we’re able to innovate from an underwriting perspective. We’ve radically overhauled our data and analytics environment. Using Big Data means we’re able to compress the time taken to crunch through some of the complex algorithms our data scientists use. What used to take days now takes a matter of hours. We have the ability to ‘boil the ocean’; to chase more hypotheses simultaneously.
“Unlike many financial services companies, we’re on a path to moving all of our production processing into the public cloud. We’re still at the relatively early stages, so it’s exciting and something new the people who come on board can be part of and will benefit from. We’re looking to remove our on-premise data centres. This will create more flexibility and makes it easier for our software engineers to spin up new environments to test things. We’re very much pioneers in our sector. You could say we operate more like a software business than a financial services business. It’s an interesting time for new talent to come on board.”