Building a Safer, Smarter and Sophisticated ICI
Bob Troppmann, Canada ICI’s Vice President of Information Technology, presents an interesting line of thought for considering ICI’s history: “This company came into existence in the same year that the internet launched.” The World Wide Web has obviously come a long way since its debut, and the same can be said about Canada ICI.
Today’s technology is much more powerful than the tech we were using 25 years ago, which presents opportunity and responsibility in roughly equal measure. As hackers and other malicious actors increase their abilities to penetrate security protocols, in return we must constantly escalate our means of defending ourselves — which is a responsibility Bob takes very seriously.
“From day one, the company has been immersed in the changes of the Internet Age, which have not relented up to present day,” he explains. “Think about how things like email, file transfer, encryption, and broadband have utterly transformed our world. In fact, the pace of tech change is accelerating. We left behind a pile of old fax machines, Blackberries, servers, and software to get where we are today.”
According to Bob, the role of information technology for a company like Canada ICI has many facets, as the business relies on IT to provide protection while also helping shape a more convenient and productive future for ICI. “IT can’t just play defense. It must deliver tools to the front lines, like business intelligence and market intelligence, that can drive results,” Bob says. “Future-proofing the platform is another area, so that we make the right investments that serve us over the long haul, while still being open to adapt as the business changes.”
Bob started working with ICI just over a decade ago, and in that time he’s helped drive several key changes in the way the company handles information technology. “We built our own loan servicing platform which has been online almost four years now, and we’ve grown our assets under management over $1 billion in that time,” he explains. “That system will port to the cloud shortly. We also built Deal Finder, a system that tracks commercial property ownership and debt.”
When it comes to the future of IT at ICI, Bob thinks business process automation (BPA) will play a major role. “Some of what we do today is collecting, organizing, packaging, and distributing information,” he says. “BPA technology can automate almost all of that, and thus eliminate much of the busywork that exists in our business. That would allow us to free up human resources to put towards higher-value functions.”
Continuing along those same lines, another area that has Bob excited for the future is artificial intelligence, and the way it can be used to further streamline business practices. “AI might have the biggest impact on any tech trend today,” Bob explains.
Already we are seeing law firms applying AI to consume leases to compute a portfolio valuation, because it does it more accurately, faster, and at less cost than an actual lawyer. As this tech moves into the mainstream, it could drive change in the process.
With the speed of technological development always increasing, it’s critical to have a respected IT professional like Bob Troppmann leading Canada ICI into the future. Whether the coming years find the industry relying heavily on artificial intelligence and business process automation or not, ICI’s technological future is in good hands.