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Hargreaves Lansdown CIO David Davies explains strategy of constant IT evolution at financial services company

Thomas Macaulay | March 10, 2017
Financial services provider Hargreaves Lansdown will open a new technology hub in Warsaw later this year and CIO David Davies is buoyed by support of an incoming tech-savvy CEO

The staff in Hargreaves Lansdown's office in the Warsaw skyscraper will primarily work on the company's Java technology, but also on a plethora of other technologies within the company's development areas.

Board support for innovation

The backing of Hargreaves Lansdown executives has been key to making the developments led by Davies a success, and having his own position on the board has helped communicate his strategy.

"Chris Hills, our incoming CEO backs it so much that he actually joined us on a trip out there not so long ago," says Davies.

"We're now looking to extend the trip to other execs so they can firmly understand exactly what it looks like, what it's going to feel like. It's really enthused a hell of a lot of people within the organisation from the exec down."

The challenge of legacy architecture is prevalent throughout the financial sector, and Hargreaves Lansdown is no exception. Davies makes a concerted effort to tackle it proactively rather than wait for it to become a major issue requiring an urgent reaction. The expansion to Poland is another element of his attempt to constantly evolve the company infrastructure at a pace that prevents it being restrained by ageing technology.

"We're an organisation that is very internally-driven," he says. "We are not bound by third parties in the delivery of our core platform, which is a hugely unique situation.

"It's almost the USP in our market because a lot of our competitors are using third parties; they're almost bound to their roadmaps, whereas our roadmap we build ourselves."

That roadmap has stopped at innovations such as a recently-launched new mobile app for live client trading, and an industry-first project cash savings product bridging investments and savings on one platform due for release later this year.

Davies has developed a reputation among his colleagues for his constant emphasis on evolution at the company.

"The people around me, they describe me sometimes as having 'evolution Tourette's', in that it's always a case that everything that we do is about how we can evolve, how we can push forward, how we can maintain the exciting technology proposition that we've got and how we do that with our own people," he says.

That evolution continues in the company's Bristol base and at its new Warsaw hub, a reflection of Davies' ambition to secure the Hargreaves Lansdown name in financial services both in the UK and beyond.

Source: CIO UK 

 

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