Where Are They Now? Catching Up With the 2011 Elite 8
Rob Alexander, CIO, Capital One (McLean, Va.)
When we visited with Rob Alexander, CIO of Capital One, a year ago, he was working to facilitate the McLean, Va.-based bank's aggressive growth strategy while simultaneously upgrading its enterprise infrastructure and improving the customer experience across delivery channels. This year, if possible, the 2011 Elite 8 honoree is taking on even bigger challenges. Capital One acquired ING Direct USA and HSBC's domestic credit card business, transformational moves that have made Alexander's Capital One the sixth-largest bank by deposits and assets -- and the nation's largest direct bank.
With the acquisitions comes a mammoth task of integrating the companies' IT systems into Capital One's infrastructure. "We believe a fast, efficient and reliable infrastructure will drive success for Capital One and our customers," Alexander's says. "To make this happen, we have been focused on nailing the integrations, delivering the infrastructure for a great customer experience, and becoming leaner, faster and more efficient in how we operate."
Alexander observes that with the digitization of banking, customers have come to expect to be able to interact with the bank wherever they are, whenever they want, which is why being "always on" is a top priority for IT. "Business demand for technology solutions continues to grow -- that's never changed," he says. "This, coupled with the fact that we're working now to integrate two major acquisitions, translates into the largest IT investments we've ever made in our company's history."
Alexander and his group are concentrating on enabling agents and customers to deliver a seamless service experience across all of the firm's product lines and across all channels. "We're putting particular emphasis on advancing our mobile and online banking capabilities," he reports. "Similarly, for our internal customers, our associates, we're continuing to invest in workforce technologies by upgrading videoconferencing, introducing social computing, upgrading wireless access and developing customized apps for smartphones and tablets."
Looking ahead to 2013, Alexander cites three main priorities for his IT organization: completing the integrations; increasing IT delivery speed; and creating a culture of excellence in execution to remain always on for users, business partners and customers.