Creating A Flexible And Cost Effective Infrastructure

Sergio Fidalgo, CIO, BBVA Compass
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Sergio Fidalgo, CIO, BBVA Compass

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations
Our biggest challenge is meeting the demands of an increasingly technology savvy customer base. Mobility is key, as our customers are no longer tied to our branches for routine transactions. Another challenge we face is a changing competitive landscape, to now include an array of non-traditional players.

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
Cyber security would have to be my primary concern, and likely shared by most CIOs in the industry. We are confident with the counter measures we have in place today but we must remain diligent as the cyber criminals become more creative.
      Changes in regulations also present challenges, including a strain on resources and a variety of new deadlines and requirements. We are learning how to become more agile and creating a more flexible and cost effective infrastructure to meet these demands.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen
The effective use of the huge amount of customer data at our disposal is critical to our business. We use this data to help manage all kinds of risk– credit, operational, regulatory, reputational, etc and to provide meaningful and timely solutions for our customers.
      Our new core banking platform and its real-time capabilities has been key in helping us avoid duplication. An integrated architecture allows our new platform to run on a single customer information file. We no longer store customer information in different applications depending on the products and services they have with us. This allows our bankers to meet the needs of customers more efficiently.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the financial sector
We accomplish both through strong collaboration with key internal partners. We work closely with our colleagues to fully understand their business needs so that we can effectively allocate resources to develop the most important solutions.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
The overhaul of core banking platforms is a decision many banks are contemplating, and have been for years now. Replacing those systems for the sake of efficiency and innovation is a risky and expensive proposition. We made a strategic business decision three years ago to invest in a new platform and proudly announced a successful implementation late last year.
      Cloud computing has become a necessary reality. We are starting to use and evaluate more of these types of services.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO
Previously, my focus was on sustaining the company infrastructure and meeting the demands of our lines of business partners. Today, technology is prevalent in everything we do as an organization. As a result, I play a more active role in the development of the company’s strategic plans.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs
I would counsel CIOs to work diligently to align their organizations’ technology strategy with their overall business strategy. I recommend establishing and maintaining a really good communication flow with the rest of the company. I also highly recommend that technology team members are equipped with a guiding business principle to help inform technology decisions.

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