FutureBanker: Why could J.P. Morgan's total IT needs not be handled internally or by a traditional, single third-party provider? Miller: In these particular portions of technology (data center and distributed computing operations; voice and data services; and some internal corporate applications), we wanted to be world class, and we judged that we couldn't do all of that ourselves. Keep in mind that this is 30 percent of IT; we have another 70 percent to make sure we do really well. FB: For the other four participating companies in the alliance, what did this work represent? Boykin: When the opportunity came up and we realized what J.P. Morgan was trying to do, we had to do a little soul searching because we obviously compete very aggressively in the marketplace with each other. But we knew that each of us had strengths that could really add value to the proposal we were making to J.P. Morgan. Racioppo: We see that strategic alliances and the so-called virtual corporation are management models that people talk about but very few have endeavored to make work. We really felt that if we could work this together, accomplish the goals that were set and live within the principle framework (created), we would be beneficiaries (of) this hard-earned experience. FB: What would you say to skeptics of the alliance and, more, to institutions that face similar IT challenges? Miller: If any company looks at the total amount of IT they need to doohow well they do it, how well nurtured all of those skills are going to be over time, and how they will deal with an increased scarcity of IT skills in the marketplaceohow are they going to operate on all cylinders? That which we focused on really well, we did really well. But you can't literally focus on everything at the same time. It was obvious that we needed to have our IT skills focused on the businesses of the future. If I was going to be snide, I'd say that anybody who thinks they can do all of IT well hasn't actually looked. (IT) is hard stuff. You have to look yourself in the mirror to judge just how good you can be at everything. FB: J.P. Morgan has reduced its costs and increased its cost variability. What's been the most difficult alliance objective to achieve? Miller: From my perspective, the hardest thing has actually been shifting the Morgan focus. Racioppo: It's created a tremendous amount of change within the Morgan organization. FB: Where did you see the most immediate benefits of the alliance? Miller: Access to skills. Hundreds of new people have shown up to here to help us deliver IT. All of these resources help us get the work done every day. FB: How rapidly has this enabled you, as CIO of J.P. Morgan, to shift more focus to business initiatives? Miller: What time is it? My role is to leverage technology to advance Morgan's business and it's why I needed to get out of production and onto the business opportunities. Technology is an enormous enabler. How do we maximize taking advantage of that? That's where the alliance comes in. FB: Will the Pinnacle Alliance ever handle more proprietary, business-specific technology applications within J. P. Morgan? Miller: So far, Pinnacle is not providing market application software. Right now, we're focusing on getting the current scope to work. We do have our minds open to leverage. FB: Will the Pinnacle Alliance ever deliver its services to other firms? Racioppo: An awful lot has to do with the role and stature of the CIO in the organization and the relationship that exists between technology and the business community. Boykin: As we demonstrate success, other companies will begin to think about this (type of alliance). Racioppo: I have personally been involved in 70 or 80 conversations with clients, prospects or partners dealing with clients specifically about the Pinnacle Alliance and J.P. Morgan. That's significantly more conversations than I would have had related to other deals. -sraeel tfn.com
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