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  • Ahead in the Cloud: Greenfield Transformation with BECU's Fumbi Chima

    June 27, 2022
  • Fumbi Chima, Chief Information Officer at BECU discusses BECU’s early stages of a greenfield migration to cloud computing. The discussion covers digital transformation, FinTechs, and employee experience.

    Hosted by Chad Watt, researcher and writer with the Infosys Knowledge Institute.

    “It's not just a digital transformation, it's a whole transformation as a company. Because we have to look at the system, look at the operating model and look at the ways of doing work.”

    “We always say that at BECU, we have the secret sauce. We have a really intimate experience with our members and my job is to use technology to even make it better and make it more exciting.”

    “Transformation is not just a technology project. It's about talent. It's about change management. It's about changing the dynamics of us as an organization to really be digitally first.

    “I always say to people that fintechs, you have to love them. It's a cooperation. The element of fintechs that we compete with, we will compete with. Because that's our core business. But there are also elements of it that I think makes us better.”

    - Fumbi Chima


  • BECU is a credit union served by the purpose, for the purpose, for the members and community around providing financial help.
  • BECU is an 85 year old company. To modernize the tech stack, it was more cost efficient to start fresh and transform the whole thing.
  • BECU is creating a whole security platform, having a whole new data structure and then building business value streams on top of it. And the ones that they started to build most recently, using the modern technology, they can migrate it onto the new platform. The ones that they can't migrate, they build. It’s a hybrid.
  • They started many years ago just migrating some of their core platforms onto the cloud. BECU partnered with consulting system integrator to help them to stand it up. And that took about 12 week assignment post strategy. Strategy took about six months. It's not just a digital transformation, it's a whole transformation as a company.
  • After the strategy, they did a proof of concept. They are starting to deploy innovative tools and are using robotics process automation in some of their core processes. They’re building a whole new consumer lending platform in the old world. Once they've architected it enough and once it's all been built up in the cloud, they can then redirect that platform onto the new instance.
  • Transformation is not just a technology project. This is the way in which we need to operate organizationally. Transformation is about operating model. It's about talent. It's about change management. It's about changing the dynamics of us as an organization to really be digitally first.
  • It is important to cooperate with fintechs. Big companies will compete with certain elements of fintechs, because that's their core business. But there are also elements of it that makes big companies like BECU better. Companies need to look at some fintechs and integrate with them. And there may be some that they will acquire.

Show Notes

  • 00:06

    Chad introduces himself and Fumbi

  • 01:00

    Fumbi talks about her background

  • 03:00

    Can you give me some kind of parameters how much and what are you guys transforming? What is the scope of this and where are the edges of your big white piece of paper there?

  • 06:20

    Can you give me kind of a status update? What did you guys tackle first when you decided to take the entire universe of BECU to cloud? What was the first thing?

  • 09:35

    Why is that significant to be the chief technology and transformation officer?

  • 10:20

    Let's pretend for a moment here. I'm a teller in one of your national financial centers. I've been there for two decades. I can open a checking account. I know all 30, 40, 50 systems I needed to do and I can do it with a smile on my face. You've just come in and told me I have to change the way I do my job. I'm not very happy about that. Help me with the transformation.

  • 12:20

    Can you tell us about BECU’s posture toward FinTechs? These are operating adjacent to your 80 year old plus institution. They're doing some of the same things you do. Do you compete, collaborate, copy, ignore?

  • 14:20

    What's the most used FinTech app that you have right now?

  • 14:33

    Can you imagine the app you could build for BECU?

About Fumbi Chima

Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Transformation Officer, BECU

Fumbi Chima

With more than 25 years of leadership and technology experience in both the retail and financial sectors, Fumbi Chima currently serves as BECU’s executive vice president and chief information and transformation officer.

As CIO of Washington’s largest credit union, Fumbi is responsible for leading the organization’s technology strategy, information security and IT operations for its more than 2,600 employees. She is also committed to ensuring BECU’s more than 1.3 million members have secure, seamless access to their accounts – online and in-branch, using leading edge technology.

Prior to BECU, she served as chief information officer at adidas in Germany, where she led a customer-centric digital transformation, creating and operating an agile digital foundation. Before joining adidas, Fumbi served as CIO for several other global organizations, including Fox Network Group, Burberry, Walmart Asia’s business operations and American Express’ global corporate technologies. She is experienced leading digital and organizational transformations, and driving business outcomes through the use of technology and digital solutions.