Nationale-Nederlanden Bank moves towards a data-driven organization. As a Lead Architect I ensure that our IT architecture is ready for that. A good example is the mortgage chain. At this moment you still need several documents when applying for a mortgage. For instance a certificate of employment or a salary slip. Right now customers still have to scan and send all these paper documents. But soon we will collect all this needed information (data) – with the customer’s consent – directly from other parties, such as the Tax Authorities. Then our customers no longer have to provide us all these documents.

Together with program managers and the Delta Lloyd Lead Architect, I am also working on the integration of Delta Lloyd Bank and Nationale-Nederlanden Bank. We identify and minimize the risks of integration for the architecture. Moreover, we want to know how the cohesion and interdependencies are between the bank and other business units, such as Nationale-Nederlanden Life. This integration is a fantastic challenge.

Fit new technologies
Meanwhile, the world around isn’t standing still. New technologies are constantly coming at us. The point is to find a good balance between the integration of Delta Lloyd and Nationale-Nederlanden, and the fitting in of all these technologies. Only in this way we can move forward. And that is absolutely essential. Because otherwise we stand still. And to stand still is to regress.

These kinds of great changes make my work fun and educational. I mean, how often do you get the chance to put two companies together? It is important that you also dare to develop yourself. That is the thread that runs through my work at Nationale-Nederlanden. Because I really don’t want to do routinely work. Every two to three years I have taken on a different role or job. It is precisely this opportunity to change that makes Nationale-Nederlanden such an attractive employer for me.

Development is stimulated
Since working in IT, I started studying again. I do that three or four evenings a week. IT has become my hobby. Currently I am learning how to program. I have also taken on a basic training of psychology: I learn about human behavior and how it is influenced. This can be essential for my work. How do you get people to move? Where is the resistance? How do you take that away? And who moves along too easily?

IT makes doing business possible
It’s hard to imagine a financial world without IT. In a video, that I recently made for trainees, I said that we actually are an IT company with a banking license. IT makes doing business possible. This realization is getting through to us more and more, partly because we work in an agile way in multidisciplinary teams with functional managers, marketers and product managers who deliver projects from beginning to end.

Robert-Jan Opschoor
Lead Architect, Nationale-Nederlanden