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Achieving Success as a Philippine Bank CIO

In this post,'s FY Tang interviewed Keith Chan – who for the last decade has been the leader of the Philippine Business Bank Information Technology Group – discussing the IT head’s latest exploits, his plans, goals and his thoughts and opinions regarding the industry. Chan has been in the IT industry for over 20 years and his exploits are well-known in the country, most notably, the application of SaaS in the bank’s electronic payment system 4 years ago – a clear deviation from the common server/data center set up. And, with performing yearly check-ups and drills through this application, the challenge of disaster recovery was met by Chan and his team. Here’s part of the interview:

What emerging ICT trends are you currently watching closely?

One observation we have is that an application still cannot span from a single box or server. So, I am keeping an eye on HaLoop type of technology.

What have been the greatest challenges you, as the paramount leader of ICT at the bank, have faced?

The role of a CIO is 90 percent that of a negotiator and mediator, rather than that of a technical resource person. As such, in this job one has to be able to communicate effectively with ease across the corporate levels.

What are the key attributes every successful technology leader should have?

Patience (lots of it) and prudence when making decisions. Also he or she should always have a good broad perspective on the purpose and real contribution of technologies to the business.

Mr. Chan also touched base on their group’s goals and business ICT priorities for the next two years. He stated that they have thorough virtualization of their data center as part of their efforts of IT optimization. Chan and his IT group have showed tremendous amounts of sheer patience and fortitude in all of their endeavors in the banking industry and now is reaping the rewards of acknowledgement and success.  

Being patient is a tough task to undergo, even for business leaders. But this is definitely key especially in dealing with the everyday rigors of changes, particularly in innovation and technologies, and it is really no different whether in a bank or somewhere else. Attention to detail and leaving no stone unturned should be the business practice of choice. Lots of patience, together with a far-reaching outlook, bring dividends in the long run.  

Read the Interview in its entirety:

About Kristian Dayrit

Kristian Dayrit was the Associate Editor and Content Writer for AITS Philippines. He has edited and wrote various published works, articles, newsletters and such since 2007.

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