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InformationWeek Daily - Wednesday, July 2, 2008 Tech Careers Looking Shiny In The World Of Money The beleaguered financial services industry can be a bl...

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InformationWeek Daily - Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Editor's Note

Tech Careers Looking Shiny In The World Of Money

The beleaguered financial services industry can be a bleak place to work these days. But not to Denis Stypulkoski, the new CIO of startup firm Tygris Commercial Finance Group, where he says optimism and opportunity abound.

Before being named CIO at Tygris this week, Stypulkoski was CIO of U.S. Express Leasing, a 4-year-old equipment finance company that was acquired in May by Tygris. Like the new post at Tygris, the beauty of being CIO at U.S. Express Leasing was that there was no historical baggage weighing it down, said Stypulkoski.

"There was no legacy, it was a beautiful thing," he said. That includes no tangle of corporate bureaucracies, legacy computer systems, or paper-based processes. U.S. Express Leasing operated its business "with total transparency" enabled by technology, he said.

When U.S. Express Leasing went to investors to raise debt and capital equity, "we showed [investors] technology's access to information, and it was 'wow,'" he said.

That's one of the things about U.S. Express Leasing that appealed to Tygris, a recently launched commercial finance company that in May announced it had raised a record of nearly $2 billion in initial equity capital from investors.

The $2 billion equity infusion into Tygris was "the largest initial capital ever raised in the U.S. commercial finance sector," said Stypulkoski. "I'm incredibly fortunate to be in a company like Tygris. It's a dream come true for a CIO."

A decade or so ago, while Stypulkoski was leading IT at companies like Newcourt Credit Group and AT&T Capital, the trend of IT organizations was to have "large teams doing custom" development work, he said.

"But that was because of a lack of component-based products" for developing IT-enabled business solutions, he said. Today, "IT teams one-tenth the size have capabilities on par or far greater" to assemble technology-driven solutions, said Stypulkoski.

The role of IT leaders today is that of "architect, integrator, supplier manager," while before it was "design, build, implement," he said.

What hasn't changed for CIOs over the years is "the need to have a good business technology vision, sit at the table with business leaders to engage and strategize" about how technology enables the business to get where it wants to be.

Tygris has a tiny IT org right now. However, that'll change as the company grows organically and through acquisitions, he said.

What he's really looking for, Stypulkoski admitted, are people who have the skills, experience, depth of knowledge, and leadership ability to one day become CIOs, too.

Read the rest of my blog and leave a comment here.

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee
[email protected]
www.informationweek.com

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