With FSI Transformation Assembly only 5 weeks away, Digital Diary decided to sit down with Keynote Speaker Scott Dillon, EVP, CTO and Head of Technology Infrastructure Services at Wells Fargo and Company to hear his predictions for the future of Enterprise Information Technology.
IT has evolved from a service provider to a business partner. How has this impacted your role during your career?
SD: It really hasn’t. My approach to managing IT hasn’t changed. I’ve always sought to work with my business partners to ensure we were leveraging the best solutions for their needs and our customers’ needs.
Certainly, the way we are perceived as a discipline by our business partners has evolved over time. That has made our lives easier in some regards and challenging in others.
Now business partners don’t try to dictate what they want to us. It’s more of a collaborative relationship.
But you aren’t a true business partner by simply announcing yourself to be. You have to understand all aspects of enterprise technology and bring business disciplines to how you manage and mature internal capabilities, technologies, and processes.
Building these capabilities is a journey that requires consistent focus and nurturing. Your goals have to be clear to your managers, team members, top of the house leadership team, and business partners.
Building these capabilities also means you have to be accountable for your actions and assets. You can’t say, “I was just following orders” anymore.
But technology professionals want that responsibility. We know our assets better than anyone. We should be the ones helping craft software, develop new products and services, and innovate.
Once you truly master your capabilities, everyone sees the benefits – more effective services, streamlined processes, faster speed to market times.
You lead a global, innovative, enterprise IT team at Wells Fargo. What are the challenges of supervising a global infrastructure? What advice do you have for CTOs facing these challenges?
SD: I don’t imagine the challenges I face are any different from any other CTO or CIO. The only difference may be the scale of the challenge since our scope extends across Wells Fargo’s global footprint.
The need for technology has increased dramatically for everyone over the last few years and that’s certainly true for us. We are trying to balance the needs of our business partners with the resources and capacity we have available to us.
I hesitate to give advice. Every shop has its own challenges and priorities. All I can share is that we are managing through our challenges by focusing on the needs of our customers.
We are automating our internal businesses, digitizing the company, enhancing the security of our environment, bringing mobile and fast solutions to market, and driving innovation to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.
That sounds easy, but doing it and maintaining our focus takes effort. My leaders and I spend a lot of time talking to our teams and business partners to ensure our objectives remain clear and that we are on track.
We’ve earned our partners’ trust because we are as transparent as possible in our efforts, our progress, and our timelines.
In EIT, we have four guiding principles that serve as the foundation for the kind of culture and work environment we want: Accountability, Courage, Collaboration, and Trust.
Each is critical to our success, but courage and accountability have been at the forefront for us this year.
IT departments are increasingly becoming responsible for ensuring effective collaboration across business functions, which is vital for Digital Transformation. At Wells Fargo, how do you ensure effective collaboration across functions, around the world?
SD: With more than 70 million customers and 265,000 team members around the world, effective collaboration – both with our customers and internally among our teams – is critical.
We have a laundry list of tools we leverage to keep our team members and customers connected – including our telecommunications network, instant messaging platform, video conferencing and streaming capabilities.
On the customer side, we have a strong track record of bringing collaboration technologies to market, such as our Make An Appointment tool, which allows us to set appointments on behalf of the customer to smoothly transition them from the phone to a branch.
But equally important as our equipment is our philosophy around collaboration. EIT team members and leaders don’t just provide the infrastructure for the company. We strive to extend our culture of accountability, courage, collaboration, and trust to all of our business partners.
When our partners ask for tools we ask what they are hoping to accomplish and then recommend options for how best to reach their target audiences. Sometimes an email is most effective. But if you can engage a group of team members via a video conference call then you are sponsoring real collaboration.
My leadership team and I walk the talk by hosting regular in person and video streamed town halls with team members across the globe. And I can tell you, team members appreciate the effort. Attendance at our town halls has gone up each of the past three years.
As for our next step in this area, we clearly are seeing increased usage of our video tools so we intend to continue broadening our network bandwidth.
What technology are you keeping an eye on?
SD: Robotics, AI, and Data are the three that immediately come to mind. Server-less Architecture, while still maturing, we believe, will have a significant impact on technology in the future. While these technologies continue to mature it’s the ability to leverage the convergence of these capabilities that will influence significant business outcome.
In fact, the importance of data is already fully realized. Automation, digitization, driving insight, improving effectiveness and efficiency – all of those efforts rely on data to be successful.
But, we’re also staying on the forefront of banking technology. Understanding how a customer wants to connect will continue to reshape the future of banking and we need the technology structure in place to support that growth. In April, Wells Fargo launched cardless ATMs and a person-to-person payment solution called Zelle. Just last week we announced “Control Tower” which provides customers a single view of their digital footprint. With each new innovation comes the opportunity to better serve the customer, but the experience they have depends on having sound technology in place to support it.
The instances of ransomware attacks are increasing. It’s safe to say that cybersecurity is at the forefront of many CTOs’ agendas. How is your team working to defend Wells Fargo’s infrastructure?
SD: This is job one. Everything we are doing in EIT right now is about ensuring that our platform and infrastructure is safe and sound. We are working hand in hand with our Enterprise Information Security team to proactively address cyber security and all the other threats financial institutions face.
It is a constant, ever-changing challenge. But we’ve got some of the best information security experts in the world at Wells Fargo. And our technology teams are deeply committed to ensuring the integrity of our systems.
What does the future hold for Enterprise Information Technology at Wells Fargo?
SD: The future is incredibly bright for us in EIT and at Wells Fargo. The bank has asked us to step up and truly own technology. We have responded by enhancing our organizational structure, bringing in great new leaders with fresh industry perspectives, and focusing on what is critically important for the company’s continued success.
We are making our platform stronger through the talents of our amazing team members, who have been incredibly resilient over the last few years as we’ve consolidated technology groups and raised expectations.
I thought we had the best IT shop in the business before, but over the last couple of years, I have been truly humbled by the amount of change and enhancements the team has achieved all while never letting our day-to-day responsibilities slip.
There has never been a more challenging and transformational time in IT. I understand how some might long for the days when the pace was slower and the expectations not as high. But we aren’t looking back at Wells Fargo.
Yes, we have challenges, but we also have incredible opportunities. How many times in your career do you get to redefine your entire function or how it interacts with other parts of your company? When has innovation and information security and business enablement collided so completely and quickly? This is exhilarating stuff!
I am looking forward to seeing the creative ways we meet these challenges and the challenges after that and the challenges after that.
With only a few weeks until you keynote the FSI Transformation Assembly, can you give our readers a taste of what you’ll be presenting on?
SD: I am really interested in IT’s transformation from service provider to business partner. That is such a significant advancement in the maturity of our industry. During my presentation, I want to delve into the factors that led to this evolution and what we all have to do to keep the positive momentum going.
I also want to discuss the role of team member engagement and culture in how this evolution is playing out. Much like the services we provide, we need leaders and team members who go beyond just churning out cookie cutter products and services.
We need big thinkers who are bold enough to drive the innovation necessary to make us business partners. That requires a nurturing environment in which team members feel empowered and engaged.
I am looking forward to sharing my observations on these topics and hearing how my peers are
dealing with these issues.
ABOUT SCOTT DILLON
Dillon is Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Technology Infrastructure Services for Wells Fargo and Company, the nation’s biggest consumer bank. Scott Dillon is responsible for one of the world’s largest infrastructures as the head of the Technology Infrastructure Services at Wells Fargo. His team provides availability, security and global interconnectivity for the more than 70 million customers who interact 12 billion times a year in person through the company’s 9,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs, on the phone, or online at www.wellsfargo.com.
Under Scott’s direction, the Technology Infrastructure Services team manages compute platform services, network services and operations, production management, technology design and architecture, infrastructure governance and strategy, technology service delivery, while also providing support for the more than 270,000 Wells Fargo team members and their entire holistic desktop, phone and device experience.
During his nearly two decades with the company, Scott has held various executive positions, including head of Enterprise Hosting Services, Chief Information Officer for Wholesale, Trust and Investment Banking, head of Payment Strategies and Strategic Alliance and Ventures where he created and led the Strategic Alliances & Ventures groups, Vice President of Performance Reporting, Cost Accounting and Controller, Bank Operations and Cash Management.
Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Scott held executive positions with Deloitte Consulting, LLP, including Lead Client Services partner, Co-Leader of Strategic Sourcing and Outsourcing Practice for Financial Services, and as a partner.
Scott has been profiled in several top financial publications, including Financial Times and American Banker, as well as industry trade outlets including ZDNet, Bank Technology News and Computerworld.
Scott received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Banking from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. His interests include spending time with his family, tennis, golf, and outdoor activities.
ABOUT FSI TRANSFORMATION ASSEMBLY
Application to attend FSI Transformation Assembly taking place September 14-15, 2017 at Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, FL is now open.
Join experts from North America’s major financial services and insurance organizations like Keynote Speaker Scott Dillon, EVP, CTO and Head of Technology Infrastructure Services at Wells Fargo and Company. Scott will be providing unique insight into how his team provides availability, security, and global interconnectivity for the more than 70 million customers who interact 12 billion times a year in person through the company’s 9,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs, on the phone, or online at www.wellsfargo.com.
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C-level IT leaders in the financial services and insurance sectors are dealing with many challenges as digital transformation becomes an imperative. Understanding not only the convergence of Mobile, Social, and Cloud but also the possible implications of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Blockchain is vital to stay ahead of the competition.
With digital enhancement comes a massive explosion in data, which is creating unprecedented manageability issues for firms around the world that can be linked to the following factors: expanding customer touch points, emerging types of structured and unstructured data, new customer engagement and social media platforms, rising data security, and controlling the overall data volume.
This is not just another “Financial Services” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Apply to attend here!