by Peter High, published on Forbes
Chris Perretta has been an IT executive at State Street Bank since 2007, with most of his tenure spent as chief information officer. A few months ago, he advanced beyond that role to become the Global Head of Enterprise Data and Technology at the company. The role was created as an acknowledgement of the sanctity of data, and digital advances that State Street hopes to lead. Perretta has led a significant transformation of the information technology function in order to help realize this vision. First, he standardized and simplified IT. Next, he implemented what he refers to as “industrial agile.” He also re-organized the IT team significantly, and created a greater emphasis on customer experience and innovation. Perretta describes all of the above and more in this interview.
(To listen to an unabridged audio version of this interview, please visit this link. This is the 27th article in the “Beyond CIO” series. To read through past interview with executives from companies like Waste Management, Biogen, Allstate, Aetna, Marsh & McLennan, and BMO Financial Group, please visit this link. To read future articles in the series, please click the “Follow” link above.)
Peter High: I thought we would begin with your responsibilities. Could you talk about the purview of that role?
Chris Perretta: I have a new job titled Global Head of Enterprise Data and Technology. It is an extension of the realization of the importance of the digital world and the creation of digital businesses and enterprises that State Street has recognized. I am excited by that, I think it is the next level of integration of the operational side of things and the technology side of things.
High: I would love to hear more about that – the sanctity of data – and the fact that it is actually called out in the title. I am sure that is meaningful. Can you talk a bit about your growing set of responsibilities?
Perretta: From the data side, it is an important part of what we do. When you look across industries as well, even manufacturing, and you look at what those companies are doing from a data perspective, is it driving revenue. The data component of what we do is so important in providing insights, analytics, and risk management to our enterprise and our customers. There is a need, frankly, to have an enterprise view of yourself as an enterprise, in a more sophisticated way than in the past. Our clients view of what they do with us, and augmenting their data with other data that they could care to look at, and providing that service is a need. The concept of so many more of our products, services, and obligations are data-intensive. There is a recognition that the business has to address the data question, not only in terms of pure technology, but also as a management and governance responsibility. It has to be integrated across what has traditionally been different functional and operational areas. I see my task as putting structure around that task, and to be able to provide visibility, analytics, and insights that has not been the purview, in its entirety, of traditional IT organizations. We are excited about that.
On the technology side, there is so much technology that could be emerging or disruptive that could change the landscape of what financial services do, despite their virtual nature. The designation of technology is a confirmation of the importance to the financial services business, as well as the traditional IT world that I grew up in.