Cleveland Rocks! - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
5/27/2008
04:37 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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Cleveland Rocks!

How did the CIO of a rust-belt financial firm buffeted by the mortgage meltdown mess pull out a big win in Cambridge, Mass., last week? Here's a hint: Make the most of what you've got.

How did the CIO of a rust-belt financial firm buffeted by the mortgage meltdown mess pull out a big win in Cambridge, Mass., last week? Here's a hint: Make the most of what you've got.The winner of the MIT CIO Innovation Award at last week's MIT Sloan CIO Symposium was the CIO of National City Corp., Joseph McCartin. McCartin has been CIO of the Midwestern bank, which has been forced in the last several months to borrow large sums against possible write-downs related to the mortgage market tumble, for about five years.

A multiyear, multidiscipline program centered on cost containment involving homegrown Cobol-based applications combined with cutting-edge integration and interoperability technology was what led to his award. The program, known as "Core Renewal," involved the updating of legacy systems with a sophisticated service-oriented architecture to create an innovative platform for crafting customized consumer and small-business offerings and a sophisticated customer loyalty program.

A key technology component, according to McCartin: WebMethods, from Software AG.

A lot of people around him advocated a "rip-and-replace" strategy, McCartin said last week during an interview at the luncheon honoring his award and others, but he knew that would be disruptive and cost prohibitive. Instead, McCartin is looking forward to employing predictive analytics based on the data gleaned from the bank's new customer-oriented business model.

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