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Olivia LaBarre
Olivia LaBarre
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Inspiring Words From BS&T's Executive Summit

Here are some highlights from Monday morning's sessions at the BS&T Elite 8 Executive Summit, where leaders and experts in financial services IT spoke on some of the top issues CIOs face today.

The Bank System & Technology's Elite 8 Executive Summit kicked off Sunday night at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix. Here are some highlights from Monday morning's sessions, where attendees gathered to hear what leaders and experts in financial services IT had to say about some of the top issues CIOs face today.

The sessions began with Andres Wolberg-Stok, Citi's SVP and director of mobile and emerging technologies strategy for North America consumer banking, and Jim Gifas, EVP and head of GTS Solutions U.S., Citizens Financial Group, RBS Citizens, who both spoke about strategies for leveraging the mobile channel.

"You cannot look at mobile and tablets as an extension of what you've been doing online for years," stressed Wolberg-Stok. "Don't let existing backend or middleware technologies get your way." He said that for the recent makeover of Citibank's website, his team drew from newer technologies built for the institution's mobile platform.

Gifas spoke about the recent implementation of a corporate mobile banking solution at RBS that allows businesses CFOs to transfer funds and perform other transactions from a mobile device. The bank partnered with Sybase to put the solution, call accessMOBILE, in place. "Mobile banking has strengthened the stickiness of our relationship with corporate customers by making banking easier for them," he says of the solution.

For the second session, Umpqua Bank's Colin Eccles, a previous Elite 8 honoree, spoke on mastering the multichannel delivery paradigm. He said that customers must now be at the center of IT strategies, instead of a core platform or any certain channel. "Infrastructure is becoming a tapestry of decentralized delivery services," he said. "The channel isn't important anymore. It's all about the customer and thinking about how the customer is coming to you." Seamless channel integration is critical, and that is what Umpqua Bank is striving for, explained Eccles. He shared the bank's vision of what this integration could look like in a video created by partners Fiserv and Microsoft that you can view here.

Next, Kathy Burger, BS&T's editorial director, sat down for a Q&A with Fred Cook, CIO of North Shore Credit Union about his bank's recent core systems replacement and overall IT transformation. Cook said that one of the keys to a successful conversion is choosing a system that supports the integration of self-serve channels. He said that core systems providers must want to "play in the sandbox," or be able to work with a group of other solutions.

Finally, Kevin Petrasic, Partner, Global Banking Practice at Paul Hastings, spoke about the CIO's role in responding to compliance challenges. "Everything the bank CIO does today has regulatory implications," he said. "The role of the CIO comes down to thinking like a regulator." He stressed that while bank regulators' views aren't always right, banks must consider their views and try to understand what they don't understand.

Look for more coverage of BS&T's Executive Summit event tomorrow, and view the eight honorees here. Keep up with live tweets from the event on Twitter at the #banksummit hashtag.

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