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Depending On Multiple Vendors To Achieve A Satisfactory Result

Gary L. Garber, SVP & CIO, Boston Private Bank and Trust Company
Gary L. Garber, SVP & CIO, Boston Private Bank and Trust Company

Gary L. Garber, SVP & CIO, Boston Private Bank and Trust Company

Steering transformational initiatives within your business environment that typically required IT

One of our significant transformational challenges involved the consolidation of three banks in three different regions into our environment – in a little over a year! This undertaking involved merging different core banking platforms, online banking systems, networks, data centers, security infrastructures, as well as business and operational processes.

Things done to elevate IT's relationship with the business 

The implementation of a Commercial Lending origination application to replace many manual processes was a significant undertaking that required strong IT leadership. The Commercial Lending business had grown rapidly in a short period and the lack of automated standardized processes was impacting the group’s ability to manage the business more efficiently.

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

At Boston Private Bank, we dedicated significant resources to build the necessary data warehouses and reporting tools to improve our understanding of our current and prospective clients, financials, and to improve our overall operational efficiency and risk management efforts.

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

There are many areas where limited integrated solutions have forced us to improvise and use multiple vendors to achieve a satisfactory result. The one area that comes to mind is information security. While many vendors claim to provide integrated comprehensive security solutions, we use a “best of breed approach” to meet a variety of needs including: data leak prevention, intrusion protection, encrypted email, mobile device security, risk assessments, vulnerability identification and patching, etc.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Technology trends have and will continue to have a big impact on how we collaborate internally and interact with our clients. During the past year, we have introduced a social media intranet to support employee collaboration, online banking mobile apps, tablets for Board meeting documentation and secure corporate iPhones.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

My role continues to expand and receive more visibility and attention from regulators, executive management and the Board of Directors. The stronger regulatory environment coupled with smaller margins and a riskier criminal cyber environment has brought more attention to the CIO function. My scope not only encompasses Information Technology but also includes bank operations, physical security, business continuity planning, procurement and significant risk management activities.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

My best advice to my peers is to make sure that you are totally connected into all aspects of the business and that you communicate in clear business and layman’s terms the importance, challenges and value of IT in supporting the Bank’s strategic goals.

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