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Wells Fargo says no to personal smartphones and tablets, period

Jon Brodkin | March 7, 2011
Wells Fargo's IT group has a simple answer for employees who want to hook personal devices up to corporate systems: No.

In the wake of the merger, Wells Fargo is slashing spending and will save $1 billion in annual technology and operations costs, as part of a goal of saving $5 billion across the whole organization.

For one thing, Wells Fargo plans to cut its application footprint from 4,000 applications to 3,200. The company is also boosting use of VMware to improve utilization of servers and creating an internal app store to simplify the process of deploying small apps and business services.

With more than 73,000 servers, 22 petabytes of storage, 1.2 million nodes, 42,000 network devices, 144,000 users, 12,000 ATMs and 6,000 stores, Wells Fargo has four major data centers, each the size of four football fields. The firm also operates about 80 regional and satellite data centers, but hopes to cut that number down.

For some companies, cloud computing would be the answer for consolidation, but not for Wells Fargo.

"I don't know what a cloud is, and so I don't want to go there," says Mekjian, noting that cloud computing is still poorly defined by the IT industry. "I'm not going to put my customer data into somebody else's cloud. It's not going to happen, not until I'm guaranteed beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's secure. The cloud should scare everybody. Why would anybody want to put their data in a cloud?"

Although Wells Fargo officials clearly have reservations about some modern technologies, it's not preventing them from attracting top talent, Davis says.

"One thing that attracts IT talent to financial institutions is that we have such a heterogeneous environment for technology," Davis says. "If you want to see HP NonStop equipment, we've got that. If you want to see iPads, we've got that. If you want to see big iron, we've got that. If you want to see virtualized servers, we've got that. If you ask any of your major IT vendors who is the largest slice of pie for their business, they're going to say financial services, because we're buying their products. We're getting the latest and greatest, and that attracts talent to our organizations."

 

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