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A 21st Century Agency: Q&A With CFPB's Chris Willey

The CIO of the recently formed regulatory body discusses the role technology plays in the agency, in both internal functions and carrying out its directives.

Bank Systems & Technology: What role does cloud computing play at the CFPB?

Willey: That is another benefit of being born in the 21st century: Other agencies have legacy applications they have to look at how they can move to the cloud, and we can actually start in the cloud, and in fact that's what we've done. We have no data center of our own. Everything is hosted in either public or private clouds. And so we were able to do that from day one, and not think about how we were going to have to do it later. Whether it's a lease for a data center or action servers, and all the fun stuff that goes with building a data center, we didn't do any of that.

We essentially rented the stuff in the public cloud. And that's created a lot of flexibility. We've tried to be as agile end-to-end as we can be. So on the front end, we've tried to use a rapid development language like Python. Python and Django is kind of our development application environment of choice. We use Srcum and other agile project management methodologies to manage projects, and we're in the cloud so we're able to stand up the infrastructure in a manner of minutes as opposed to months. End-to-end we're able to execute very quickly on whatever need the Bureau has. And the fact we didn't have to mitigate any legacy systems, made it all the more easy.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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