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Cenlar’s Tech Org: Built for Modern Mortgage Servicing

Client Partners Cenlar’s Tech Org: Built for Modern Mortgage Servicing

Cenlar’s Tech Org: Built for Modern Mortgage Servicing

Steve Taylor, Chief Information Officer

When I joined Cenlar in spring of 2022, my goal for my first year was to get the team aligned, get the right people in place and build out an IT organization that in short order would transform our Technology Operation and Cenlar itself.

We’ve made great progress. Thanks to the hard work of my team, we’re on target to complete our plan to address remediation efforts in Vulnerability Management and IT Asset Management months ahead of schedule. The IT organization has been completely laid out, and we’ve completed the foundational work that is now supporting transformation in areas across the company.

With the foundational transformation work complete, the IT team is in position to continue to enhance IT Operations as well as focus its attention to the business. Technology, like automation, can make a big difference in enhancing the day-to-day operations of the company and delivering better service for our clients and their homeowners. I plan on sitting down with leaders to address all these opportunities within the business. I can ask leaders across Cenlar, “What can IT do for you? What are the things you’re trying to do, and how can we help you?” We’ll document and track them, driving innovation within the business.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve emphasized that we have to work strategically. If we don’t have the skills we need, we need to go out and get the right people. If we do have the right people, we need to give them the tools they need to be successful. We can’t ask our people to be jacks-of-all-trades, where they can’t be focused.

Transformation Isn’t a Part-Time Job: The Right People in the Right Roles

That was the logic behind our personnel moves over the last year. If you look across IT now, everyone has their own focus. We promoted Rene Gonzales to Chief Technology Officer, and brought in Brad Cargile to fill Rene’s former role of Vice President of IT Infrastructure. Rene is looking to the future with a focus on standards, innovation and optimization. Brad is focused on maintaining the operation, making sure we’re delivering on everything we promised and meeting our SLAs in technology. We have project management, business continuity and disaster recovery with Tim King as our Vice President of Enterprise Technology Services. Jason Shockey handles cybersecurity as Chief Information Security Officer. And we’ve moved the Business Information Officers under Chief Digital Officer Josh Reicher to better align our business-facing innovation, like automation.

There’s a clear line of delineation. Everyone has their roles and their responsibilities, while also continuing to communicate to their colleagues across the IT organization and with our partners in the business.

We had to start from the beginning, taking a look at risk and all the controls within the IT organization. And there’s a long list there, especially when you consider everything that comes with access management and security. How did we get it done? We dedicated people to the work — that’s what they did, and that’s it. Transformation can’t be a part-time job.

Staying the Course and Realizing Results

To get here has required discipline and strategy. We stuck to our plan, and executed it. We implemented enhancements to the Vulnerability and Patch Management program that has allowed us to effectively clear any backlog while maintaining compliance with the program requirements. We bolstered our IT Asset Management Program. We completed our cloud migration and our telephony upgrade. We launched an enhanced cyber incident response program and a new homeowner communication platform. We created an automation model that has enabled us to have 14 out of 30-plus automations on track for this year.

Josh Reicher has total focus on client-facing innovation, like automation and digital applications.

It’s important to know we’re not automating for automation’s sake. We are adding tools that move us from a manual, touch-heavy environment in areas like identity access, security and patching, freeing up our employees for analytical work that pushes the business forward. [For more on this, check out the adjacent story on Cenlar’s Automation Factory.]

And that’s an important point. Even if IT has achieved its transformation, we have to keep our business mission top of mind throughout the organization. We have to keep asking ourselves, “How do we continue moving forward?”

Steve Taylor is Chief Information Officer at Cenlar. Taylor previously was President and CEO of his own consulting firm, where he advised C-suite corporate leaders on the need for technology investments to drive transformative growth. He was paramount in several successful M&A transactions, providing expert consulting to executive leaders throughout the transitions. Before he was a consultant, Taylor held multiple roles at Fidelity National Financial and Fidelity Information Services, most recently as Account & Technical Delivery Executive.