Preparing for the Future 

By Chris Murphy, Wall Street and Technology
21 October  2004

There are a lot of differences among the six people who make up this year’s CIO Elite. Their IT staffs range from a 100-person team at the electronic exchange Archipelago to the many hundreds at companies such as Barclays Global Investors, Lehman Brothers and State Street. The group includes competitors, partners and combinations of both, and the honorees work across a range of capital markets business segments.

What they share in common, though, is far more interesting. In a time when people mystifyingly debate whether the use of information technology can deliver competitive advantage, these leaders’ work is inextricably linked to their companies’ futures.

Wall Street & Technology editors partnered with research and advisory firm TowerGroup to identify Wall Street’s top technology leaders. We looked for people who’ve made progress in specific areas to position their companies for success.

What’s most intriguing are the plans that these leaders are laying for tomorrow. Paul Stevens of Barclays Global Investors is looking to take a data-management strategy that’s already been woven through the business worldwide over the past several years and inject it with ways to make the users of data more productive. Tom Miglis at The Citadel Investment Group talks about creating systems that are capable of handling unlimited volume. Steven Rubinow of Archipelago discusses moving the company into new segments and activities that will challenge the people and technology that run the business today. And perhaps no one faces a more daunting and public transformation task than Roger Burkhardt, chief technology officer for the New York Stock Exchange, in bringing that organization from dipping a toe into hybrid markets to making an all-out plunge.

Miglis describes Citadel Group, with some qualification, as a technology firm that trades. He discusses it in the context of companies outside the financial-services world – Amazon, FedEx – that don’t look at technology as a necessary cost of doing business; they look at technology as the means by which they’ll find the next great moneymaker.

No one’s going to tell these leaders that technology, used well, can’t deliver competitive advantage.