IT Strategic Planning Cannot Be Carried Out In A Silo

Colin Eccles, EVP & CIO, Webster Bank
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Colin Eccles, EVP & CIO, Webster Bank

Challenge in technology to meet Banking needs in 2013

The biggest challenge continues to be pent up demand for technology services with demand far exceeding supply. Many banking technology organizations have focused their efforts the past several years on technology infrastructure to make the technology foundation more stable and efficient. In addition, there has been an increased demand for projects to achieve regulatory compliance.

Pain points within the Banking sector for which solutions do not exist yet

The advancement of technology in ecommerce, mobility, and payments has increased the need for enhanced information security. This, together with the ongoing threat of a DDOS attack, must be keeping most CIO’s up at night.

Customer authentication across all delivery channels to ensure the validity of electronic transactions remains a concern, but as important, risks exists when our customer’s workstations are compromised. Banks must implement information security protection solutions within the bank.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

From my experience, this is an area with opportunities to do more by increasing the use of data and having a well defined data management strategy. Technology organizations are, however, using data in several areas, including:

• Information security systems that monitor and learn what standard business usage is so that inappropriate usage can be blocked
• Systems that detect duplicate transactions across channels
• Transaction data required for regulatory compliance
• Metric data tied to service level agreements to report on service trends and efficiency.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the financial sector

IT strategic planning cannot be carried out in a silo; it must be business aligned and contribute to business financial goals. IT planning must achieve two objectives. First, how can the cost of the technology utility service component be reduced? Then the focus must be on the second objective of enabling the business by aligning resources to deliver business strategic initiatives and enabling the business with technology.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

The main trends are the increasing need for mobility, self service and making the bank more customer-centric. Customers want to be serviced when they want, where they want and through the channel that is most convenient to them at that point in time. Technology enterprise architecture must expose services across all delivery channels.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

The need for business alignment and CIOs having a seat at the table with Executive Management continues. CIOs have a role to play in shaping the strategic direction of the bank and contributing to organizational results. They must therefore understand the businesses they serve, to ensure they deliver the services required to achieve business strategic objectives.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

The CIO must continue to build strategic partnerships with their service providers. CIOs must look for the service providers that can assist them to achieve these results. In the past, CIO’s may have believed that they can “go it alone” and only bring in subject matter expertise when they absolutely needed it, but that approach will no longer ensure that the high expectations for CIOs will be achieved.

Secondly, two things are important: business alignment (single point of contact in IT) and certainty of delivery.

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