Gill Haus, SVP, Retail and Direct Bank CIO at Capital One

February 26, 2018
BY Peter High Founder and President of Metis Strategy
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By Peter High, published on Forbes

Gill Haus is the Senior Vice President, Retail and Direct Bank Chief Information Officer at Capital One. In that role, he has overseen many of the changes that have made the Bank synonymous with digital innovation. He believes in having his team regularly experiment with the latest technology to judge applicability to the Bank and its objectives. He has overseen the development of innovation labs that further this mission.

Haus is familiar with the difficult work that companies that are larger and that have been in business for a generation or more must undertake in order to become digital ready. These include cultural changes, process changes, and technology changes. Haus has played a critical role in all three. In this interview, he highlights his excitement for artificial intelligence and blockchain, discusses the value that Capital One has gotten out of developing innovation labs, and more.

Peter High: Yours is a bank that is synonymous with innovation and the move towards digital technologies. Could you provide a bird’s eye view of the transformation that you have helped lead?

Gill Haus: It is like the common saying which is, “Technology changes everything.” If you think about Capital One and who we are, for us to be competitive and provide the services we want to our customers, we must keep up with emerging technologies.

The problem is that we have a lot of legacy technologies. I have engineers who spend time on a mainframe or on a variety of different systems that we have acquired over the years. Those systems require care and feeding, and engineers that are caring for those systems are not building products, features, and services for our customers. At the same time, if we do not build the skills internally to be out of that hole, we will constantly be behind.

Technologies like the cloud and machine learning are more commonly available than they have ever been in the past. The cost of entry for someone to compete with us is small and our competitive moat only helps to a certain point.

Our focus has been on systematically modernizing everything we do. That means we upgrade our legacy systems and go to the cloud. We have approached this in a few ways. One is making sure that we have the right talent on the ground and making sure that the talent has the tools and systems that they need and want to use.

It is one thing for us to say, “Come work at the bank,” which is already not that appetizing to a technologist.” It is another to say, “Come work in the bank, and you will be able to make your own projects if you have an idea.” “Come work in a bank. You will be the first to move the bank’s platform on to the cloud.” “Come to the bank. You will be able to explore different ways of using data, machine learning, etc.”

To read the full interview, please visit Forbes

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