H&R Block: Doing Taxes at the Speed of DevOps (Las Vegas 2020)

As a tax preparation company, H&R Block must be one of the most seasonal companies in the world. While other companies experience peaks in their business, their revenue continues to flow. At HRB all our revenue comes in during a 102-day window and most of it in just 12 days. This has led us to face the question. How do we modernize during this age of disruption without risking the consumer confidence at the heart of our business? Two years ago, H&R Block began its DevOps journey. There were a number of factors that came together to drive this initiative. First, we made the decision that it was time to move to the Cloud. This brought lots of new options to drive the automation used by DevOps. Second, the company made the decision that it was time to modernize most of its applications and platforms. Over the course of the next 3-4 years Block will undergo the rewriting or refactoring of some 70% of its software. To accomplish this huge endeavor, HRB created its Modern Tax Platforms division. Through their leadership the enterprise is changing the way software is designed and delivered, quality is baked into the development process early, the way teams are empowered to take greater responsibility, and the way we think about the fundamental concept of a team. As with many organizations, there is still much to be done, but the achievements we have already accomplished are impressive. Small nimble teams are replacing large monolithic systems that evolved over decades. The vision that begun in IT is now crossing over and joining hands with our business partners to break down old silos and drive an overall enterprise-wide digital transformation.

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John Roe

VP, IT - Modern Tax Platforms, H&R Block


Tony Ogden

Director of IT - Modern Tax Platforms, H&R Block

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