Project Management

Inside Track Agile Infusion: Liberty Group South Africa

BENJAMIN MARAIS

BENJAMIN MARAIS

TITLE: CIO

ORGANIZATION: Liberty Group South Africa

LOCATION: Johannesburg, South Africa

Organizations in legacy industries that don’t adapt get swept away in a current of change-driven startups. So when Benjamin Marais joined financial services and insurance company Liberty Group South Africa in 2017, he received a direct and ambitious order from the CEO: "Turn the business around." The transformation plan not only represented a change initiative in itself. It also meant embedding change readiness in the organization’s culture.

Leading that disruptive journey for the organization’s IT unit fell on the shoulders of Mr. Marais.

What did Liberty Group’s organizational change involve?

In January 2018, we began to consolidate the Liberty Group business units’ corporate functions: IT, human capital, finance, risk and compliance, and legal. The operating model changed from siloed to unified. We redesigned the organization to be more agile and flexible. And we completed the model change at the end of 2018. It was quite an achievement.

What did that change mean for IT?

We lived in a fragmented world with multiple IT teams and IT budgets, which led to complications and duplications in our systems and applications. We had to become one unit. So we consolidated the IT …


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