Company's Technology Vision To Be Dictated By You

Abhijat Thakur, CIO,
Abhijat Thakur, CIO,

Abhijat Thakur, CIO,

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013

Any CIO has to balance the competing pressures presented by technology and his/ her own industry. Technology is always moving forward at a breakneck pace and in the world of financial services; we are subject to a number of dynamic factors– regulation, internationalization, raising capital, customer experience and engagement, big data, social media, mobile, and more. When you consider those sometimes- competing pressures, a CIO’s biggest challenge is often balancing the need to be strategic and forward leaning, with the daily task of executing well in a complex environment.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

We are always evaluating and testing new innovations or features and services while maintaining our current services under the weight of existing customer strains. What was state of the art five years ago is already stale and buggy. There is no other part of our organization that has to manage a similar rate of change and growth.

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

This is an area that I am proud to say that we have fast-tracked and where we have already made major investments and resource commitments. These include data analysis, data warehousing, load testing, automation, and constant test scripts to make sure that we are identifying errors and problems before our end users or our teammates are burdened with them.

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

Early on in the growth of our company, IT moved from a supporting role to a core function of everything we do. The team realized that integration of IT into every single aspect of our business would create resource efficiencies, lower costs and most important– improve overall user experience. This holds true whether we are testing new personal finance tools or building templates to push content to the site.

Technology trends impacting  enterprise business environment

Data Management & Analysis: As we look down the road at the future of this industry, the ability to manage a growing amount of data and extract meaningful trends is critical. We are working now to optimize our data warehouses and co-relate the data for better customer engagement  and values.

Cloud Computing: The ability to leverage the cloud effectively is a critical part of the financial services industry. It enables on- demand and flexible infrastructures, development and deployment flexibility, data management and analytics tools, scalability, backups, and beyond.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

The biggest change for me as a CIO has been the growing scope of the role and the different disciplines with the company that I must engage with on a daily basis. It affords me the opportunity to be more entrepreneurial in my approach to solving complex problems that impact the organization at a fundamental level.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

The key to being successful as a CIO in the financial services sector is to think big. Consider yourself as the Chief Digital Officer and make your impact felt across the organization. IT has moved from the back-office to the tip of the spear, and this has allowed the CIO to become a leader across the organization. So don’t allow your company’s technology vision to be dictated to you instead of by you.

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