CIO Values: Ian Patterson, CIO At Scottrade

Patterson says that "full delivery of all financial services products via a mobile platform" will be his industry's next big thing.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

December 12, 2008

3 Min Read

Career Track


How long at current company: Three years

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: In 2006, Scottrade built a state-of-the-art data center. I was so proud of my team for the amount and quality of work we accomplished in a short period of time. That project drove home the value of coming together and focusing on the end goal.

Most important career influencer: Beatty D'Alessandro, CFO at Graybar. Beatty taught me that listening is as important as speaking. He also showed me the importance and value of keeping a cool head under pressure.

Decision I wish I could do over: Taking a job with a dot-com startup in the mid-1990s. I underestimated what it was going to take to keep that type of company going.


The next big thing for my business will be ... Full delivery of all financial services products via a mobile platform--beyond account transfers and streaming quotes. Research will be available in a fast, real-time capability.

Advice for future CIOs: Learn the business, not just the technology. An IT professional's key differentiator is understanding the business and converting business needs into technical solutions. If you don't understand the business, you often try to fit a round peg into a square hole.

On The Job

Size of IT team: More than 300

Top three initiatives:

  • CRM: Scottrade is known for customer satisfaction, and CRM is always a focus. This year, we're using customer feedback from all of our customer service channels to establish a single voice of the customer.

  • Banking: We're implementing core banking systems to enhance our product offerings.

  • Infrastructure expansion: Managing the growth of our business by building out the second half of our data center in St. Louis and adding additional capacity. We're also opening a new data center in the Phoenix area.

How I measure IT effectiveness: 99.9% of our business is conducted on our Web site, so customer satisfaction is our most important metric. Also, employee buy-in and acceptance of new products is critical.

Key tech partners: Cisco, Dell, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft


Colleges/degrees: University of Arizona, BS in business administration with a focus on management information systems

Best book read recently: Stephen King's Duma Key

Favorite leisure activity: I enjoy anything that I can do with my kids.

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be the chief operating officer of a high-tech company.

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