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Management Strategies

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2010's Elite 8 Honorees: Where Are They Now

The recent economic turmoil and a tougher regulatory environment continue to challenge bank technology executives, who must work to improve the customer experience while cutting costs and boosting efficiencies in order to remain competitive. Bank Systems & Technology checked in with the 2010 Elite 8 honorees to see how today's challenges have changed their responsibilities and their banks' focus over the past year.
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An Eye to the Future

Umpqua Bank has grown by leaps and bounds through acquisition since its inception, but its integration process is relatively easy these days. When Colin Eccles, CIO of Roseburg, Ore.-based Umpqua, was recognized as a 2010 BS&T Elite 8 honoree, the bank had just acquired three institutions in the previous three months, their integrations facilitated by a repeatable process that Eccles developed in order to complete mergers in fewer than 120 days.

A year after his Elite 8 honor, however, Eccles says his priorities and focus have changed. This year, he has focused on building Umpqua's technology infrastructure for the future and ensuring that the bank's technology operations are reliable, scalable and have high availability. He also has been working closely with business unit executives to address compliance requirements and respond to regulatory changes. "2011 has been focused on infrastructure and ensuring that technology is in place to support the long-term growth of the bank," he says, adding that his team's priorities for the coming year include achieving regulatory compliance, driving innovation to differentiate the customer experience and supporting Umpqua's growth. "In 2012," Eccles adds, "my focus will shift to enhancing the customer experience across all delivery channels."

Since investing in technology has been a high priority and strategic focus for Umpqua Bank, Eccles' IT budget has grown significantly over the past three years, he notes. "While the recent economic turmoil hasn't directly impacted my budget, I will continue to review and assess my technology organization to ensure that it is operating as efficiently as possible," Eccles says. "In addition, we will evaluate and prioritize all projects and initiatives based on their business case. Now is the time to ensure that technology resources are correctly assigned and focused."


Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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