"We will provide an encrypted data file, a container in which these certified apps will sit," Hilton notes. He explains that while the firm won't pay for the device, it will provide a lot of functionality on personal tablets or smartphones. "I think our real differentiator is we're saying, you manage your own personal device and access. You can FaceTime with your kids and do personal stuff. But then there is a set of maybe 10 to 20 apps you can use that look like any other app to you, but they are secured by Credit Suisse," he adds. "You can perform Credit Suisse business on those apps with no data leakage, and it's securely encrypted. That's a pretty big leap, if I'm honest. Not everyone's got there yet."
Once again, the numbers demonstrate the success. Over the course of 10 years, Credit Suisse peaked at 16,000 users of BlackBerrys -- company-owned, company-managed and company-provided devices. That number is now down to 9,000 users. Incredibly, when the bank released the first version of the mobile platform two years ago and said anyone could have it on any device, Credit Suisse went to 18,000 users within six months. The firm expects some 20,000 to 30,000 users on the open platform by this time next year. "It was just unbelievably popular, and the demand uptake was like nothing else I've seen before," says Hilton. "So I think that was a lesson to us all around a corporate technology. We sometimes need to get out of the way. We sometimes need to allow technology to occur outside of us and jump on the bandwagon as consumers have done."
Overall, Steve Hilton has set a steady pace for improvement and shows no sign of stopping. He jokes that every year when reviewing the budget, he's asked about his strategy and priorities for the new year. "I say, well, same as yesterday. The fact that Jan. 1 is around the corner shouldn't actually change my opinion of what's important. And it certainly shouldn't change my behavior in how I spend money. We set a strategy out four to five years ago and stuck to it, and it hasn't really changed."
Managing director, CIO of technology infrastructure services and global head of corporate real estate and services, Credit Suisse
Career Bio: Hilton joined Credit Suisse in May 2006 from JPMorgan Chase, where he worked as a managing director in the global technology infrastructure group. Prior to that, Hilton worked at JPMorgan and CSC for 10 years, during which time, he resided in London, Singapore and New York.
Education: Master's degree in mechanical engineering from Bristol University in the U.K.
What work experience had the most long-lasting impact on your career? "My international transfer to Singapore when I was in my late 20s. Asia was a small region in those days, and it allowed me to see things end-to-end and learn how to drive innovation and change when freed from some of the bureaucracy that comes with working in a head office environment."
What do you do to relax? "Not only do I live in New York and run infrastructure and real estate operations for a global bank, but I also have newborn twins at home. Relaxation is an alien concept to me."
Favorite hobby? "I am a home improvement fanatic -- fixing and improving things around my home provides me great satisfaction and enjoyment."
What's one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you? "I have never read a technical manual in my life."
[To learn more about new opportunities in mobility in financial services, check out the agenda for the New Opportunities for Mobility: A Financial CIO/CTO Roundtablesession at the upcoming Interop event in NYC.]