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Take 5 with Zions Talent: Brian Timmeny

Our Chief Technology Officer shares his top productivity hack, what excites him about the bank’s technology transformation, and what attracted him to Zions Bancorporation.

Nicola McIntosh Apr 15, 2021

As Chief Technology Officer for Zions Bancorporation, it’s an understatement to say Brian Timmeny has a lot on his plate.

He’s responsible for leading more than 600 employees across the bank’s Enterprise Architecture, Application Engineering and Support, and Technology Reliability, Engineering and Operations divisions, while helping manage a massive digital transformation that touches every area of the bank and its eight affiliates in 11 Western States.

But, at the end of the day, Timmeny says it’s about putting the customer at the center of everything.

“At Zions Bancorporation, there’s such an intense focus on the customer and on the experience of the customer and really everything is aimed in that direction,” he says. “That’s so important to me. It gives us an intense sense of purpose that sometimes doesn’t exist in other companies.”

Timmeny brings deep technical knowledge to his role, with a proven track record of global cloud transformation and innovation through modern technology management techniques. He received a bachelor's degree in economics and international studies from American University and is SAFe Certified, Agile Product Owner Certified, and Agile Scrum Master Certified.

We sat down with him to learn more about his background, the challenges and opportunities in his role, and what attracted him to Zions Bancorporation.

What are Zions Bancorporation’s top priorities with regard to technology?

The first step is to rationalize all of our applications so that there’s not so many different “animals on the farm.” We want to standardize our applications so we can be more nimble in rolling out changes.

Second, we want to make it easier to leverage our data for the benefit of our clients. Today it lives in so many different applications, we can’t really capitalize on it.

The third piece is taking all of the things we do today in terms of application delivery and automating those processes as much as possible. We also want our application delivery to happen consistently, quickly and without outages.

With these newer technology suites, we can respond and make changes much more quickly, especially for the experiences that are directly facing our customer. We don’t have to wait six months to fix that experience. We can begin to think about incremental changes on a much more frequent basis.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

One of the biggest challenges is to ensure that you do not break your existing systems. We want to move to automation, to cloud, to drive toward great next-generation technologies, but you’re not beginning from zero. You’re building on the shoulders of great work that came before. We want to move to next stacks of technology, but we also need to honor and be mindful of the delivery that’s already in motion.

What attracted you to Zions Bancorporation?

It’s a bank that is big enough to be able to dedicate the resources to drive this transformation, and small enough and collaborative enough to really make it happen. Within larger organizations, sometimes the conversations are more complex, and the hierarchical structure means that strategic change often takes years.

At Zions, we have conversations, with the right stakeholders in the room, and following that discussion, we start to run. It’s proven to be really exciting. It means the ability to execute this transformation has a great outlook.

The other important aspect is our teams are very collaborative … in a positive way. It feels like there is a genuine openness and transparency, which is one of the primary company traits that attracted me.

What does your typical day look like?

Half of my day is focused on driving our technology strategic agenda, meeting with my team and others to make sure programs are on track to meet our outcomes and objectives. The other half of my day is responsive to everything else that’s happening, such as regulatory and internal audits, or answering the needs of my team and colleagues. Some days that split is 90/10, some days its 80/20. No day ever starts out as planned, and no two days are ever the same. 

With so much going on, how do you stay focused on your goals?

I have one hour that I dedicate from 7 to 8 a.m. to focus on my agenda and my strategy — even before I check email or voicemail. I used to do at end of day, but one hour in the morning is usually more productive than any three hours that I would dedicate in the afternoon or evening.

Looking for an employer committed to helping you grow and develop in your career? Learn more about opportunities with Zions Bank and Zions Bancorporation on our Careers website.

Nicola McIntosh is Social Media manager for Zions Bank.

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