VIDEO: CIO Says Cap One Has Shifted to ‘100%’ Agile Software Development

  • JJ Hornblass
  • February 20, 2014
  • 3

At Capital One Financial Corp., the need for compressed IT production cycles has led to significant changes in the way the bank pursues its innovation projects, including changing the very teams that build them out, says the bank’s chief information officer, Robert Alexander. This is driven by the “7 to 8 million customers who only bank with us through digital channels” — “that has really changed how we think about IT,” Alexander says. Alexander explains that Cap One has been forced to find a different brand of IT talent, folks who can understand the digital dynamic in a way that “older folks” can’t.

Alexander says that this digital centrality at Cap One has led the company to completely shift to agile software development, which is essentially iterative and incremental development. Alexander says Capital One is now “100% agile development.”

Now, what might even be more interesting is the source of this video. It was posted last week by Andreessen Horowitz, the revolutionary venture capital firm. Senior banking executives have increasingly been feeding their inner creativity by doing Sand Hill Road circuits, and clearly this was one of Alexander’s.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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3 thoughts on “VIDEO: CIO Says Cap One Has Shifted to ‘100%’ Agile Software Development

  1. The CIO’s name is Robert Alexander not Robert Anderson.

  2. Screwing up his name doesn’t matter. He’s a screw up as the CIO. If you implement Agile without looking at how you impact processes in a regulated industry do you thing you’ll stay compliant? NO. He fancies himself as a tech leader but doesn’t ensure controls around those technologies…who deploys to the Public Cloud without defining Architecture or clouds…lacks leading governance which means if you Bank with CApital One it won’t be long that you’ll see them in the news like Target…you’ll know his name then because he’ll be the one providing the wrong information –

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