IT leadership-sangy vatsaAs HMG Strategy President and CEO Hunter Muller has shared on numerous occasions, there's no better time to be a CIO. 

Part of the excitement is fueled by the opportunities CIOs have before them for using advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and analytics to help propel the business forward. But it also reflects the evolution of the CIO role in working with the CEO and fellow members of the C-suite to transform the business. 

As Comerica Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President Sangy Vatsa is helping the bank move forward in the digital age, he's focused on three specific areas: keeping the business operating, working in partnership with the business to transform the bank, and constructively disrupting the business.

"If you don't disrupt your business, someone else will," said Vatsa, who will be speaking at HMG Strategy's upcoming 2018 Detroit CIO Executive Leadership Summit on June 8. 

As Comerica embarks on its business transformation journey, key areas that Vatsa and his team are focused on include how best to optimize costs while delighting the bank's colleagues and customers to improve loyalty and create the most sustainable engine for its integrated revenue stream.  

"In this regard, the IT organization becomes a co-creator and a business partner to other business teams within the bank. A business domain-savvy technology leader and a technology-savvy business leader collaborate to co-shape customer-centric products and services based on shared goals. This is the core theme of our two-in-a-box product development approach that we established 18 months ago," said Vatsa. In support of these efforts, Comerica's IT has incorporated Lean, Design Thinking, Agile and DevSecOps methodologies to drive transformational change at the speed of business.

Recent examples in the co-creation model at Comerica include applications within its commercial banking business. "We've looked at the terms of treasury services, which used to be an annual approach for getting projects funded," said Vatsa. "We can now deliver new releases in three month using Lean and Agile methodologies. The business and technology partners co-shape these releases with active engagement with the treasury customers. We can also fail fast if needed and learn from it for future opportunities."

Meanwhile, Comerica's use of DevOps (and more recently DevSecOps) practices has delivered numerous speed, security and productivity benefits. "Under the new IT operating model, security is a key embedded feature of all digital capabilities that we are creating. In fact, embedded security and compliance are the core part of our IT guiding principle for the Bank that was established two years ago," said Vatsa. "We've recognized that security needs to be a built-in construct and not a bolt-on construct."

Looking ahead, Vatsa sees blockchain and quantum computing as opportunities to constructively disrupt the business with the potential to better serve Comerica's customers, colleagues and drive higher efficiency, including potential use cases that are being explored across the Bank's multiple lines of business. "If we were to remove an intermediary for transactions, we can reduce the costs for our customers and business while improving the customer experience," said Vatsa.  

To learn more about top-tier technology leaders such as Sangy Vatsa who will be speaking at the 2018 Detroit CIO Executive Leadership Summit, click here.