Here are some key quotes from my latest podcast with John Brennan, Chief Strategy Officer at Eze Castle Integration, talking about integrating new technologies using a wholistic business approach.

“Digital transformation is one of those phrases that business leaders may dismiss as business jargon, especially recently. But it’s so much more than what they think it is.”

“Digital transformation is organizational change. And honestly, I like to call it business transformation because that’s really what it is. It’s finding technologies as a secondary level. But primarily, it’s looking at what the business is doing, what the business can do better, and finding the right technologies that align with that.”

“The opportunity [for me] was to come in [to Eze Castle Integration] and create a strategy for the future as the Chief Strategy Officer. And the key part of that was, let’s replicate what I’ve done at firms over the years, and bring that to the client base at ECI.”

“Technology is one thing. But working at a business level and speaking at a business level and adding business benefits to a firm is key.”

“The motivation for some firms may be to reduce headcount. And the motivation for other firms may be to keep the same headcount, but reallocate those people to where the real value is – their brains, their capabilities.”

“A younger firm starting out of the gate has a better opportunity of defining what they want. And we’ve actually gone into to newer firms and said, ‘okay, let us lay out a strategy for you the next couple of years.’ So at least we put them on the right path.”

“If a firm doesn’t have the CTO or CIO, you’re not going to expect the CEO or CFO or compliance officer to spend time on [keeping up with technology issues}. So you’re relying on the partnership that you built with your managed service provider.”

“If you’re a hacker, you’ll paste code up for people for free. Because once someone cuts and pastes it into their own core code, [the hacker] get access. So what we’re doing is what’s called DevOps, installing an environment to create guardrails per se, that [investment-analyst] citizen programmers can operate in.”

“If you have something in writing, you’re thinking about it ahead of time, rather than reacting. So have a strategy plan. It’s something I’ve done it every firm I’ve been at. And being one of the founders of AITEC, something that we push to try to teach CTOs and CIOs throughout the membership is to plan it out.”

“Having a plan in writing makes it very clear, and it’s not static, it’s going to be dynamic.”

“Since everybody rushed to get set up at home [when Covid started], not all the right things were done in place. So you’ve had firms that have inadvertently or not even thinking about it have opened up. So you have the ability for data leakage or document leakage to happen.”

“If anybody’s out there from CIO, Director of IT to small businesses compliance officer or CEO that wants exposure to [best practice] information, you can join AITEC and there’s always value as a constant flow of information exchange.”