Updating talent banks

It's just not doable," says Inder Koul, CIO at the billion-asset First Niagara Financial Group in Buffalo.

"It would be difficult for me to try to be a Google because I cannot match that."However, he ticks off several advantages his bank does have in the competition for IT talent, including proximity to technical schools in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo and a chief executive who has articulated a strong commitment to investing in technology.

Even so, finding young, talented tech workers who want to work for a bank isn't easy, he says.

"It's difficult right now to attract even and Java programmers into the banking space," Livesay says.

CEO Gary Crosby has said that the bank will spend to 0 million over the next three or four years upgrading old technologies and investing in new digital banking platforms.

Koul adds that his bank has avoided key-person risk by making sure it has no situations in which only one person knows what's going on in an area.

To try to jump-start mainframe enthusiasm among students, IBM has been running a "Master the Mainframe" contest for the past three years that's meant to "develop the skills of a new generation of mainframe experts." More than 68,000 students have gone through the program so far, the company says. Key-person risk is also a concern with core systems.One item is rising to the top of many bank chief information officers' list of worries: the concern that one or a few key people who understand core legacy systems will retire or leave.When that happens, updating the system to meet a new or modified regulation or offer a new product becomes almost impossible.First Niagara is also trying to help IT staff see a direct alignment with the business, whether it's infrastructure, business services, applications, or digitalization."That makes it much easier for the rank-and-file tech talent to see how their work impacts others," Koul says.

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  2. 05/15/2018Michele (Kaczmarek) Rathmann - Grand Island resident: 1966 - 1992, GIHS class of 1980, now resides in Jacksonville, FL. USAF from 64-68 went to Buffalo State, graduated and worked at buffalo Valve and fitting 73-77.