PK Uppuluri, experience loves the new

When I tell people I’ve been in this industry for 25 years, some people seem to think it would be difficult to retain your enthusiasm for what you do. I haven’t found that. I think it’s because the industry I joined 25 years ago is not the same. It has fundamentally changed. New thinking. New processes. New people. New technology.

From a technology perspective I think we’re doing a lot in changing the way we work.

The scale of the Barclays growth strategy has created a unique environment of joined up thinking across the entire continuum of the services we offer our clients. We are looking to fundamentally revamp large parts of our technology estate to leverage the wider advances in the industry. This transformation goes far beyond individual siloed projects in specific asset classes – which opens up a whole new world of opportunities and challenges.

A different way of developing

Generally, most firms tended to organise their technology teams around specific asset classes. As the adage of Conway’s law goes, this has historically led to bespoke solutions that don’t naturally work well together.

At Barclays, we are looking to fundamentally restructure the way we are organized to solve problems comprehensively. We are organized around core capabilities servicing our clients in a joined-up manner. This requires solving foundational challenges around technology and infrastructure in a manner that caters to the varying needs of the individual business from high frequency electronic trading to complex structuring. Optimizing across the entire spectrum requires not just a good understanding of financial products, but in fact is more of a core technology challenge.

New technology. New conversations

We’re also making huge steps in utilising technology. For the last couple of years there's been a focus on things I would consider as defensive. So we’re cleaning up a lot of the technology estate, our processes, the balance sheets and establishing our position in the market.

But now it feels as if we are at the flourish stage. The conversations are much more fundamental. It's not so much we have a platform X, Y, and Z and we just need 20 more developers working on it. It's we have a business model that we want to achieve so what is the technology we need to build in order to achieve it. And our ability to use the technology is growing every day. Things like cloud computing and data science, five or six years ago would have been purely theoretical in financial markets conversation. Now we’re baking it into, not only our product strategy but our entire business strategy. Which is completely changing our hiring strategy.