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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The cloud is key for financial services undergoing digital transformation


At JPMorgan Chase, Lipkovitz’s team employs zero-trust security frameworks that lock down data at every point, from device hardware to the cloud.

When operating in a zero-trust environment, teams must assume that their entire environment is already compromised. Every aspect of a system’s infrastructure must be assessed from a security angle, and security precautions are embedded—data must be stored safely, keys and sensitive data are protected. Zero-trust is more of a cultural mindset, an approach to developing software and infrastructure. And, according to Deloitte, it is an approach that more financial organizations are taking, considering the increase of cyberattacks as well as regulatory oversight.

Lipkovitz credits JPMorgan Chase’s “talented and large internal cyber team” and its shared accountability model, where app developers work in concert with security and cloud personnel, many of whom have experience outside the financial industry. This team, he notes, considers both the security of the software and the security of the infrastructure, and works to address them together.

People empowering people

JPMorgan Chase’s digital transformation team includes long-time employees and those, like Lipkovitz, newly arrived from other companies and industries. Lipkovitz says the company benefits from each group. “As you bring in people from the outside, they change your perspective,” Lipkovitz says. “But there also are a lot of talented people on the inside. That combination of perspectives is incredibly valuable.”

Lipkovitz stresses the importance of a diverse workforce in bringing fresh thinking to the company. “When an environment allows diversity of thought, it is incredibly helpful,” he says. There is a great deal of talent in places like Silicon Valley and Seattle, Lipkovitz says, and as industries outside these epicenters have transformed, talent is moving in new directions, particularly into finance. “The financial services industry is looking for outside talent to help drive success,” he says.

Although recruiting new talent is important, training, and upskilling existing workers is essential for successful digital transformation. “The world simply does not have enough people that know how the public cloud works, so that’s not going to be fixed by hiring,” he says.

Amidst cultural and technological changes, the firm intentionally balances speed and stability. “There’s huge value in doing things incrementally,” Lipkovitz says. His team rolls out changes through centers of excellence where, for example, developers can vet code before it goes live.

Centers of excellence can help incremental change happen in individual segments of the business gradually, or by making direct connections between experts and the employees who need to learn from them. People creating change within the company should be protected from the drive for expediency, Lipkovitz says, even if it means insulating them from deadlines.

“We have a strong obligation and important responsibility to always protect our customers’ information,” Lipkovitz says, “so the level of change management required can be daunting.” He continues, “But we’ll end up with a better world. I’m an optimist.”

This content was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by MIT Technology Review’s editorial staff.

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