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IT Is The Business

Much like its peers do with complex financial products, Bank of America's technology infrastructure team "marks to market" its technology offerings.

Software-Defined Infrastructure

Working with partners has also helped the infrastructure team look for new ways to deliver services. The bank is moving toward building a software-defined infrastructure, which is completely different from its current model. With an SDI, an application arrives with its needs for compute power, firewalls and storage, among other requirements.

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"We, along with a few partners, are building out our first software-defined infrastructure," Reilly reports. "It will be dramatically more effective and efficient than the one we have today. It will deliver to our businesses a degree of flexibility that will allow the infrastructure to change shape to match the needs to the business."

Although it will take three to five years to get a complete SDI up and running, Reilly reports that there should be 200 workloads running on it by the end of this year. "It will have a similar effect on the industry that distributed computing had on the mainframe," he adds.

At the end of the day, however, the SDI and the other projects are just part of what Reilly says makes his job enjoyable. "Most rewarding part is the difference we make," Reilly says, noting that the bank touches one out of every two households in the U.S. and that everything relies on a fully functional infrastructure. "Delivering that day in and day out, in all of the markets we are in, that is remarkable. It is incredible to me, and I get an enormous amount of satisfaction from it."

Personal Snapshot

David Reilly

Technology infrastructure executive, global technology & operations Bank of America

Career Bio:

Reilly joined Bank of America in 2011, after serving as CIO for enterprise infrastructure at Morgan Stanley.

Prior to Morgan Stanley, Reilly held a technology infrastructure leadership position at Credit Suisse.

Who had the biggest influence on your career?

"Tom Sanzone at Credit Suisse. He taught me about strategy and about the importance of team. You should always look for feedback. Looking for help is not an admittance of weakness — it is a sign of strength."

What is one of your current major projects?

"Providing a complete mobile experience to customers. We need to offer full fidelity services to clients who want to work with us on mobile. We have to deliver the same experience in the mobile model as we do on the website. Mobile is the platform the clients will want to do business on now and in the future."

What is one of your favorite hobbies?

"Snowboarding in the winter and surfing in summer. I have two young boys, 10 and 12. I can hold my own on the snowboard; on the surfboard I am like a baby giraffe. The kids keep me grounded. The minute I start to get a little full of myself, those two guys bring me right back down to earth."

[Check out this case study: Major Online Brokerage Combines People, Process, and Technology to Improve End-User Experience, which will be discussed at the upcoming Interop event in NYC.] Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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Greg MacSweeney
Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/26/2013 | 11:25:27 AM
re: IT Is The Business
Dr. Howard Rubin stresses the need for financial firms to get a detailed grasp of their technology costs. Firms rarely know what they spend on technology (when you include labor, power, depreciation, service contracts and so on). Rubin's point is that banks can't understand if what they are spending is good, or bad, especially if they don't know how they compare to industry peers. Rubin works with BofA and many other banks.
User Rank: Author
9/25/2013 | 9:06:40 PM
re: IT Is The Business
When I hear the words "mark-to-market" I immediately think of valuing equity trades or derivatives positions so it's interesting to learn that BoFA applies the concept to the cost of IT versus what it costs other companies. Measuring the costs of IT in specific areas, such as what it costs to host applications with external providers, is a way to benchmark performance against peers in the industry.
User Rank: Author
9/25/2013 | 1:52:39 PM
re: IT Is The Business
Interesting that they are using analytics in such a way, as it pertains to costs associated with IT spend in relation to what the industry is spending in general. Often, you hear about analytic being used to gain better customer insight, but this also seems like a prime use for data mining.
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