CIO interview: Joe Soule, CTO, Capital One Europe

Never ever go back, or so they mention– nevertheless one IT chief’s go back to his former company brought brand name-new possibilities and tech improvement

Mark Samuels


  • Mark Samuels.

Released: 21 Oct 2020 11: 30

It is a popular stating in work to state that you should never ever return, nevertheless Joe Soule, main development officer (CTO) at funding giant Capital One Europe, has really done just that– and the decision has really led him into new locations of duty in a broadened role that he thrills in.

Soule initially left Capital One in 2016 after 12 years with the company, throughout which time he had really increased to the positionof senior director for technology He constantly delighted in working for the bank and was handled and mentored by Rob Harding, who– prior to a promo in 2017– was CIO for Capital One, in a position Computer Weekly profiled back in 2016.

While Soule’s previous function offered him broad control for a series of modification and shipment components, he similarly identified there were some things he probably might refrain from doing unless he got the experience of handling a more senior IT management position. In November 2016, he made the option to join Close Brothers Motor Financing asCIO After a 2-year stint, he went back to Capital One as European CTO.

” I had a great time [at Close Brothers],” hesays “I led them through a tech- led modification of their motor financing organisation. In return, I got awareness of what it’s like to be exposed to service, and the regulator, and the board, and an executive committee.

” It was a great opportunity for me to close some spaces and to go there with an ability that they absolutely desired. And so I seemed like it was a really balanced relationship for those 2 years.”

Stepping up into a broadened role

Soule went back to Capital One in August 2018 when Harding went up to take general duty for operations and development. That all-encompassing role indicated Harding required 2 management reports, one for operations and another for development, to make sure both locations ran efficiently as he invested more time dealing with his executives partners.

That’s where Soule actioned in and integrated his understanding of Capital One with his experience as CIO at Close Brothers. “I didn’t have any fantastic plan of returning, since those tasks do not occurred all that often,” he mentions.

” However 2 years later on, it did– and I returned to Capital One in the CTO role, with the aim of extending that remit and handling management of architecture and the service side of technical. So now, whatever that would sit under a CIO role– other than cyber security, which sits with the US– sits with me.”

This additional extension of Soule’s remit came “slap bang in the middle of Covid”, he mentions.

” It was an interesting time to learn the job,” hesays “I think it short-cut a great deal of things in regards to what I needed to discover the team, in terms of what fantastic individuals they are and the abilities they bring. While it was not perhaps the way I prepared to find out about the role and the team, it was certainly an interesting way of doing it– and we did some fantastic things.”

” There are some terrific norms [from remote working] to be hung on to from an inclusion perspective”

Joe Soule, Capital One

Soule says the business’s focus altered following lockdown from a couple of of its longer-term tactical activities towards instant customer-focused issues, such as making sure mobile and web- based services and systems were able and durable to cope with the rise in online activity.

This pivot provided a range of challenges for the socially far-off ITteam Soule mentions the business’s engagement study recommends the bulk of workers think they are efficient working fromhome “Our engagement ratings have actually increased,” hesays “They were good anyhow in tech, however they have actually truly increased.

” At specific times, our modification numbers are higher than they’ve ever been. That’s in part because of coronavirus and the response we wish to make through our technology estate, so that people can work from home. Through all of it, we’ve been able to press more modification through.”

Like other business, Capital One is making use of remote- working technology, such as Zoom, to help people in the IT department to work together essentially as close-knitteams Soule has really been pleased with the results and believes the varied way of working that the pandemic has required provides some crucial ideas for the future.

” When we go back, I wouldn’t desire us to forget some of the standards we have actually established that have truly included to inclusion for the organisation,” he mentions.

Continuing to move to the cloud

When Computer system Weekly spoke with Soule’s manager, Rob Harding, 4 years earlier, he worried the significance of the cloud to the organisation. At the time, he thought of that lots of production work would remain in the cloud by2021 In his first 2 years leading tech, Soule has really taken up the mantle and states on-demand IT remains a crucial element of the bank’s method.

He says Capital One Europe has actually taken a rather various method from its US parent, which he mentions “brute-forced” its way to the cloud and has really done an amazing task. Not born

” That’s a spectacular achievement that the US businesses have undertaken,” on the cloud, the European organisation is

totally to of platforms.organization he Capital One Europe Soule estimates that today, about 30%last the business’s need applications remain in’s internal datacentre. He determines that pressing the new components to the cloud will challenge a challenging balancing act in between keeping costs tech team check and establishing with efficiencies. It’s a senior business team that his forward will take care of


goingarea for in Pioneering options to customer problemsstrategy Cloud is not the only

” We are a financing organization and, on the other side of this, there will be a great deal of things that we need to think of in terms of continuing to lend,” factor to consider. Soule acknowledges that the “It’s going to be exceptionally important that we understand the price of the loans we’re making.”

will need to make vital options bank the currently- Covid age, both challenges concerns to service face and the items it utilizes customers.last he mentions. lead for Most Importantly, the team has really test assisted to leader some innovative services to the for its customer

Throughout the online years, Soule was technical for QuickCheck, an ingenious data-led task developed by the internal IT one of that allows consumers to “specifying minutes” of their practicality profession credit.

” Very seldom do you get the possibility to develop market-leading items, and almost never do you get the chance to build a market-defining item– and QuickCheck specified the market,” The says tool offers customers using one credit a certain yes or no, so they can be specific they will be accepted prior to they use without impacting their credit ranking. Soule defines QuickCheck as in the post his for.transfers with he card, prior to advising that

” We ‘d like to provide customerss something similar,” possible target “It’s not what customers inform you, it’s understanding when the things that they’re attempting to inform you are what they require. And once again, in many circumstances, what individuals are trying to find is certainty– and in the balance transfer market, it’s less about approval and more about the ideal product for the client.”


– Covid period is to establish an equivalent item to QuickCheck of development consumers wishing to make balance Capital One their charge he mentions. in Lasting modification techniquespost These type group recommend that of, says lots of organisations, is now starting to think about start it can continue to grow digital improvement the

” We still think the plan that we meant to execute over the next 24 to 36 months is still the ideal plan, so we’ll be pivoting our teams back to that,”- Covid age. The IT “But in terms of their capability to flex, and their capability to satisfy the requirements of the customer, and so on so forth, it’s been terrific.”

requires to concentrate on practical leading concerns through the spring and summer with 2020, nevertheless Soule for it is now time to in focusing on lasting experience he mentions. of Dealing of the coronavirus pandemic has really offered barriers digital IT executives forward all business. The how has actually enhanced Soule’s belief group the abilities of his personnel– and part new remote the

” We will be concentrating on workforce enablement and seeking to invest in making work-from-home a more efficient and much better experience over time,” improvement going says will have to do with “And that will probably imply purchasing innovation in the long term to support our remote-working workers.”

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