Keslar looks to the future when it comes to developing innovative technology. However, one of his biggest challenges is figuring out the types of technology that will work despite changes in regulation.
The sheer amount of work done because of regulatory change is an ongoing challenge. Meanwhile, the rapid change in technology also adds to the workload. However, one strategy that's always in vogue is efficiency. One of the most recent projects for Keslar's team is a new payment platform that consolidates former payment platforms onto one common utility, called an enterprise payment hub.
Even with the payments hub project and a host of other goals, Keslar finds most of his team's projects revolve around using technology to leverage data to make better decisions. One of his group's responsibilities is to manage big data warehouses for risk and finance projects.
In fact, just keeping the data warehouses running is a huge part of Keslar's job. About four times a year, Keslar spends a night at a data center to perform a disaster recovery test.
For Keslar, the scale of the data warehouse projects and the efficiency of the systems are just part of what makes his job enjoyable. "My systems move $1.6 trillion of payments every day," he says. "I enjoy knowing that we're doing it every day, and with a very reliable platform."
CIO for global transaction services and business partners technology, BNY Mellon
Career bio: Keslar had a job at U.S. Steel prior to joining BNY Mellon. He was offered a promotion that would have moved him to Kentucky but declined, refusing to leave Pittsburgh, where most of his family lives. He began his career at Mellon Financial Corp. as an analyst.
Education: Bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College and MBA from University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business.
Size of technology team: 13,000 with 2,000 managed by Keslar.
Who has influenced you most in your career?
"One is a vice chairman I worked for at Mellon, Jeff Morby. He was interesting person because he was on the business side but he was an engineer, so I connected with him. The other person is also a boss I've had in the past, Kevin Shearan, who was a CIO that really was in technology when I moved over."
How did you get to where you are now?
"Luck. ... I've been very fortunate; I've had an atypical career. I started 30 years ago at Mellon on the business side of the organization, so I didn't start on the technology track. I worked in the business for about 15 years. I started building small applications for business users."
What decisions impacted your interest in IT?
"I studied economics and math as an undergraduate and went to business school and got an MBA. Along the way, I took technology and programming classes. I've always been focused on the business aspects of the companies I've worked for. My focus is to leverage technology for the business benefit."
[To hear how companies are Making the Most of Enterprise Mobility, check out the session at Interop on October 3.]