BMO Financial Group's 'smart core' fuelling innovation with Agile and DevOps culture

BMO Financial Group Chief Technology & Operations Officer Jean-Michel Arès believes the bank's 'smart core' and new ways of working based around cloud, Agile and DevOps have combined to give the organisation a platform for innovation.

Previously CIO at Coca-Cola and GE Power Systems, Arès was speaking to CIO UK at the Tibco Now user conference in Las Vegas about the CIO role and the technology innovations having the biggest impact on the organisation known previously as the Bank of Montreal. He also discussed during a keynote address how the bank's technology-enabled transformation based on a smart core of data and analytics capabilities was realising BMO's objectives to "improve customer experience, support growth and productivity, enhance risk management and fulfil regulatory requirements".

With more than 12 million customers, $765 billion in assets and annual revenue of around $27 billion, BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America and has presence in London and mainland Europe through its wealth management division.

Chief Technology & Operations Officer Arès has a team of 9,000 and said that while the company's transformation initiatives started in 2010, it was really the release of the iPhone in 2007 and the global financial crisis from 2008 onwards which formed the genesis of the programme for having "a profound impact on the business of banking".