" I’m always looking for the next thing, what should we be exploring, and right now it’s a really exciting space with the new cloud technologies and the impact of those on the direction of businesses.

By Christopher Argent, Founder, GENCFO

Sarah Lucas

Head of Migration Services

Lloyds Banking

Sarah Lucas FCCA, Head of Migration Services at Lloyds Banking, has always been a problem solver. 

“I like it,” she adds. “I like change as well. I’m always looking for the next thing, what should we be exploring, and right now it’s a really exciting space with the new cloud technologies and the impact of those on the direction of businesses.”

But within that, Sarah sees her job as helping businesses establish this balance between the new technology and applications, with security and performance. 

“It’s not just about adopting the next thing,” she says. “It’s looking at if it’s the right answer for your business.” 

Sarah’s journey

Prior to Lloyds, which Sarah joined in October 2021, she worked at William Hill for a number of years in various different roles, including head of cloud and infrastructure and head of platforms. 

Within William Hill, her first role was to set up their infrastructure delivery function, which they didn’t have at the time. When she took over as head of cloud, she had to persuade everyone, from the CFO down, that Cloud native wasn’t necessarily the way to go for all the functions and services they offered.

“For some of the older services there was no value in transforming, so we needed a middle ground – a hybrid solution.”

"There was genuinely a lot of resistance for it at first, but we went through the business case for the solution and began with migrating a small number of services, and then after that it was let’s do the rest."

Financial beginnings

But Sarah wasn’t always in technology, moving into it after training as an accountant. 

“I started off in private practice accounting in a local firm, did my ACCA qualification, but then I got made redundant,” she says.

“I then moved to a job and got made redundant again, so I moved out of practice and into industry.” 

She eventually ended up at credit reporting agency Equifax, where she went on to stay for 11 years. 

Being made redundant a couple of times impacted her ability to adapt, according to Sarah. “I think it just gave me a little bit more personal resilience,” she says.

This, she believes, is a vital skill for anyone in technology or finance

"Things are always changing and evolving because of the new methodologies and the new technologies emerging."

“What I’ve tried to do across the teams I’ve worked in, is just make sure that everybody’s kept in the loop within that.” 

Her leadership style

One of the main things Sarah’s learned throughout the changes she’s seen is that as a leader, it’s not always your job to speak first. 

“I never give my opinion first anymore,” says Sarah. “It’s a progression thing. When you’re in a senior role, people sometimes take the view that it’s the most senior person in the room’s opinion that counts. So I tend to sit back and listen, or maybe just ask questions rather than giving my opinion.

“We have teams for a reason and everybody’s got a different skill set, so you don’t want to lose sight of that.” 

In terms of moving forward together as a team, Sarah also says there needs to be a shared attitude. 

“Building those teams is all down to conversation and getting people to trust you. Once people trust you, you listen to them and they listen to everybody else, I think that really holds,” says Sarah.

“Doing cross team engagement and bringing the teams together to prevent them operating in silos is important. The business needs to move as a whole, not as separate parts.”

Power Profile

Who is your hero?

"I’d probably say it’s all women that push for opportunities for other women. I think there’s lots of groups of people across the industry in IT that spend a lot of time looking at how we can make the path easier for those women who will follow behind us. I think those people are my heroes, and I try to join in with that as much as I can. Smoothing the wave off for the next generation is really important and something I’m really passionate about."

What music empowers you? 

"I listen to everything – every single music type. I tend to listen to classical music, if I’m working, because it stops me singing along!"


author image
Christopher Argent, Founder, GENCFO

Chris is the founder and MD of GenerationCFO.com and creator of the Digital Finance Function Model and a contributor to many articles on our platform. Chris focuses on the shift toward digital transformation in accounting and finance, shows you what good looks like, then helps to get you there!

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