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Forum on World Class IT - 342 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

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January 26, 2015: Jean-Michel Ares, Group Head of Technology & Operations, BMO Financial Group

Among other topics, Jean-Michel Ares discusses the following with Metis Strategy:

  • The imperative, at BMO Financial Group and within the broader financial services industry, to combine the functions of technology and operations under a single executive
  • Jean-Michel’s belief in the ability of leadership along the lines of operational excellence, transformation, and innovation to set every CIO on the path to greatness
  • The four outlined “areas of focus” for Jean-Michel’s team in the coming year
  • Jean-Michel’s renewed focus on enterprise security, as well as the important role of external partnerships and networks in securing an organization’s data and resources
  • The great opportunity of each CIO to build strong personal networks, later leveraging those networks to solve complex challenges faced by those within and external to their industry or role
  • Eye on Trends: The combination of analytics, mobility, social networks, and the Internet of Things in shaping the new technological enterprise

Jean-Michel Ares’s Biography:

Jean-Michel is the Chief Technology and Operations Officer for BMO Financial Group, Canada’s fourth largest financial institution. At BMO Jean-Michel holds accountability for a diverse array of functions such as Corporate Real Estate, Product Operations, and Strategic Sourcing within Technology and Operations, a topic we cover in some depth in this interview.  Among other responsibilities, Jean-Michel leads over 7,000 individuals within Technology and Operations to partner with business leaders and use technology as a mechanism to achieve the corporation’s growth targets.

Prior to his tenure at BMO, Jean-Michel served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Coca-Cola Company, and as the Vice President and CIO of GE Power Systems.

Jean-Michel graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering as well as an MBA, all from McGill University in Montreal.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview