Reinventing the Job of CIO in Financial Services

The role of the Chief Information Officer in financial services doesn’t need to be enriched. It needs to be entirely re-imagined.

This past summer, Daniel Pinto, JPMorgan Chase CEO for corporate and investment banking, remarked that, “Our industry is going through a transformational time, driven by competition, regulation and advancements in technology.” In any other industry Pinto’s remark would be a commonplace. In financial services his list of industry drivers was notable for its inclusion of technology. In every other industry the business impact of new technology—information technology to be specic—is having the effect of raising the Chief Information Ocer’s visibility in strategy deliberation. In this respect the nancial industry has been a laggard. As a result it continues drawing on strategic thinking from the same talent pools it always has. Financial-services rms inhabit complex operating environments, crucial parts of which are beyond their control. Knowing what one controls and what one doesn’t is the starting place of strategy formation. That is not easy in an era with a hyper-abundance of data, not of all it intelligible and much of it just noise. But this is not the 1980s. Information technology is a mature discipline, not a support function. Its strategic power is apparent—though in nancial services not so much.

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