Well...actually, by the time you read this, I will be continuing my barnstorming of Europe and will be on a flight to Belgrade, Serbia. Semantics.
While over in the UK - aside from almost being killed by buses and cabs that drive too close to the curb (on the wrong side of the road too) - I interviewed the co-founder of Majedie Asset Management, Simon Hazlitt, and the head of risk and finance technology for RBS, Scott Marcar. Additionally, on the day before I left for my European vacation, I interviewed Catherine Bessant, who heads global technology and operations at Bank of America.
What struck me was just how different these three people's opinions of technology were, although they came to the same conclusion as to what their greatest concern is - data management.
Hazlitt's only connection to technology is the partnerships he builds with third-party vendors. Everything at Majedie is done through the cloud in some form or another - the firm does not have a single person dedicated to IT. But for him, the all-encompassing function of his cloud strategy is to deliver data to Majedie's clients as quickly and reliably as possible.
Marcar is technologically proficient. He manages a large staff of technologists and fully believes in the ability of technology to make an organization great. He is in the midst of a massive data architecture overhaul that will - he hopes - turn RBS into the gem of The City.
Bessant had absolutely no background in technology prior to taking over her role inside BofA's global technology and operations unit. For her, "technology is the enablement of a bank, not the destination." But while her concern is how technology fits into the business structure of the Charlotte behemoth, using data to reduce risk - and revolutionizing the company's data infrastructure - is what she believes will make BofA great.
I found those three interviews fascinating. I never get tired of how different the people that make up the capital markets' elite technologists view that magical word - technology.
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