Real innovation now requires business leaders to do more than effectively champion new technologies. They need to intimately understand how they work, including their limits and their possibilities. In this panel moderated by Allen Weinberg, Senior Partner, Leader of Banking IT and Operations in North America at McKinsey, four business leaders share how they have made this part of the way they lead on a daily basis, including:
- Luke Flemmer, Head of Digital Strategy for Alternatives, Goldman Sachs
- Max Neukirchen, Global Head of Payments & Commerce Solutions, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- David Chubak, Head of U.S. Business Unit, Edward Jones
- Julie Dillman, Executive Vice President of Chubb Group and Digital Transformation Officer, Chubb
Every business is a software development business
For years, it has been common wisdom that every business is a technology business, but Chubb’s Julie Dillman goes one step further. “Every business should operate like a software development company,” said Dillman.
“Our business leaders need to be better at engineering, and they need to be better at actually understanding how software or other capabilities can empower them to make faster, better product or underwriting decisions,” Dillman added.
Luke Flemmer explains that he and his team are in the midst of a major project to do just that for Goldman Sachs’s third-party capital business.
“It's really a very interesting time to be digitizing what historically has not been a digitized business,” said Flemmer. “It needs to be a co-design by the business, which understands the strategy, and the operations and the technology partners, who understand how to make that happen.”
David Chubak is undertaking a similarly ambitious project at Edward Jones. The company has 19,000 advisors across 15,552 individual branches. For these advisors, technology is becoming “such a large part in empowering good advice,” said Chubak. “Technology is embedded in every single aspect of what we do.”
Bridging the business/IT gap with a codeless architecture
To succeed, all four panelists agreed, you have to break down the barriers between IT and the business. And that means, the business has to have intimate knowledge of what IT is doing.
“When there's a problem, and I get a call from our boss, Jamie Dimon, it's not a good answer if I say, ‘Let me bring on the head of tech,’” says JPMorgan Chase’ Max Neukirchen. “He expects me to know what's going on and be really in the details.”
“When there's a problem, and I get a call from our boss, Jamie Dimon, it's not a good answer if I say, ‘Let me bring on the head of tech.' He expects me to know what's going on and be really in the details.”—Max Neukirchen, Global Head of Payments & Commerce Solutions, JPMorgan Chase
“Innovation works when you have the business and technology teams finding a middle ground on a language that works for both of them,” adds Flemmer.
By abstracting away 100% of the complexity of code, Unqork’s codeless approach provides a language that can help do just that, according to Flemmer.
By removing the complexities of coding altogether, Unqork’s Codeless-as-a-Service platform (CaaS) brings the two together in a way that goes far beyond the old waterfall paradigm—and even the agile paradigm that dominates development today.
“I think the idea of bringing IT and the business together on a new version of architecture is the only way the business is going to go forward today,” says Neukirchen.
Or in the words of Dillman, "Honor history and then run over it."