Technology Broker of Choice

Michael F. Jackson, SVP & CTO, UMB Financial Corp
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Michael F. Jackson, SVP & CTO, UMB Financial Corp

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

UMB has focused on a growth plan embracing business diversity, which has allowed us to become a diversified financial services company with multi- billion dollar assets. The challenge is that diversification has made data management difficult. To achieve success in cross -selling, we needed to really understand the customer and the relationship, but we struggled with a common view of what the customer looked like across different channels, markets and products.

Some of the things you have done to elevate IT's relationship with the business

We developed a strategy with a core mission statement to be the ‘Technology Broker of Choice’. When our associates have a problem or a specific need, they don’t need to come to us with an answer. They need to come to us as a trusted advisor and we can work together to find a technological solution to a business problem.

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

Last year, UMB made an enterprise commitment to Service Oriented Architecture. One of the objectives was to enable proactive enterprise monitoring. A second objective was to reduce the proliferation of system interfaces by establishing reusable services. Achieving these objectives has been a mind shift for our team. Everyone now has pride of ownership with products, and people are taking their job personally.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

In the financial services sector, the role regulators play in day-to-day operations is increasing at a rate we haven’t seen in the past. New standards issued by the FFIEC or CFPB have elongated project delivery cycles, necessitated system upgrades and increased training requirements of all IT employees. The technology labor force is more mobile than ever. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I can keep our talented people on board doing what they love in a way that aligns with our company’s goals."

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

Our wish list item would be a more automated platform to connect system monitoring, CMDB (Configuration Management Data Base) management, SLA reporting and customer contracts. It would be a tall order, but making sure our sales associates are well aware of current capabilities when negotiating SLAs would do a lot to build strong relationships with customers and business partners.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

UMB’s strategic focus is on creating the Unparalleled Customer Experience. We are engaging with our customers in a variety of social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter. UMB has embraced BYOD strategies around tablets and smart phones while maintaining the security required. The initiatives have been a big boost to the relationship MIS has with the business.

Lessons learned and your advice for fellow CIOs

People matter– first, last and always. We want people to look at technology as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything matters, but what matters most is communication. Make sure to over -communicate with your team. Don’t think you can change it quickly or easily, but try to leverage the positive elements that you already have going for you. Understand the company culture and make sure you can and do align with it.

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