William Mills Agency is pleased that our friend Art Gillis has written a guest blog for us—the 17 rules financial institutions should know. Art Gillis is the owner of CBSI and is an independent consultant serving the bank technology industry. Art has served the industry since 1974.
My Own Rules for the CEO, CFO, CIO, and 'Betty' of Any Financial Institution
I have never served as the CEO, CFO or CIO of any bank, and therefore, I'm offering myself up as the sacrificial lamb for anyone who knows better and wants to present his/her list of rules. Every bank I ever worked for has a 'Betty' who knows more about running the back room of a bank than anyone else.
Here are mine:
1. Educate the CEO and CFO on IT issues. In other words, eliminate the mystique or share it with them.
2. Put IT in the business of driving bank revenue, not just delivering support services and cutting costs.
3. Advocate meaningful expansion of IT—where it pays for itself, not for the glory of the CIO.
4. Improve the system architecture that will produce true integration. That's a very tall order so interim steps are permitted until you reach a good-enough comfort level.
5. Enhance CSR support to provide substance not just personality. Learn to teach customers, not schmooze them.
6. Provide uniform account status throughout. I have 13 accounts at my bank. I have to write down the ways to access them because there is no standard way.
7. Educate every new hire—in a classroom and on the job. Not at the customer's expense.
8. Convert IT budget line items (resources) to the delivery channels (functions) of the bank.
9. Enhance the money-making apps—commercial loan system vs. time deposit system.
10. Plug the security leaks, strengthen the locks, and test all employees, all the time.
11. Calculate a Performance Score for the bank's IT and track it. Bankers love credit scores of 850, but they cringe at the PS I give them.
12. Evaluate regulatory criticisms as if they were a scolding from the CEO. Bank examiners have a way of returning every year.
13. Act like a tech vendor - everything has a price. Every user should have a price list for IT items it wants.
14. Calculate a Value Score for every bank customer and use it to apply rewards. Just don't let Oprah find out.
15. Challenge your primary tech vendor to a duel. Leave out the mojitos. It should be bloody.
16. Sharpen the bank's strategy in line with the New Normal. You'll never see those goodoldays again.
17. Let someone else do the really tough jobs. There are smarter people than you and me. Find them and use them.