Panel Profile: Newcastle Building Society CIO Manila McLean

We get face-to-face with one of the IT Pro Panellists

Welcome to the IT Pro Panel Profile, where we talk to the CIOs, experts and IT leaders that make up the IT Pro Panel, and discover their top tech, pet peeves and IT inspirations.

The financial sector is one that has faced a significant amount of disruption in recent years, with new, agile fintech firms nipping at the heels of older established players. These existing firms have a steep climb ahead to digitally transform their organisations and ensure they are delivering the innovation needed to retain their positions as trusted financial advisors.

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It’s the responsibility of CIOs like Newcastle Building Society’s Manila McLean to meet those goals, as well as keeping the company’s 28 high-street branches operating. With previous roles at Tesco Bank and Lloyds, Manila has been leading the company’s digital strategy to deliver top-quality digital experiences for its customers.

Manila McLean

CIO - Newcastle Building Society

Describe your role in 20 words or fewer. 

To ensure stakeholders like the Board support the tech story to enable IT teams to do what they do best.

What was your first computer? 

A Commodore 64 - it’s in the loft, along with my personal museum of old tech. It was a Christmas present from my parents in 1981 and I can still remember playing Tennis Systems all day.

What do you like most about working in IT? 

I love enabling business transformation and great experiences that make people’s lives easier.

If you could magically get rid of one piece of technology forever, what would it be, and why? 

Assuming this can be any tech then I’d say nuclear warheads! The sheer existence of such powerful technology is so dangerous. I’d much rather see the tech skills that create these being channelled to develop tools that would benefit humankind, such as advancements in healthcare.

What future tech innovations are you most excited about? 

I’m most excited about the super-fast internet experience 5G will bring will for everyone. The speed at which we’ll be able to stream content and have instantaneous connections with no latency will be a game-changer. Increased connectivity will generate faster data which in turn will drive faster innovation and speed at which products can be personalised and delivered to consumers across many industries.

Who’s your biggest inspiration in the world of tech? 

Steve Wozniak, because his amazing engineering brain created some of the most important and influential personal computing capabilities.

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If you're a senior IT decision-maker and you'd like to apply to be part of the IT Pro Panel, please email panel@itpro.co.uk.

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