It’s important to have an interest in both machines and people
Oskar Roman began his career at SEB 15 years ago, when he applied to the bank's International Trainee Program. Through different roles, he has followed the bank's journey to becoming more digital. He tells us about his current role as a Domain Architect and his overall experiences at SEB.
– I got the opportunity to join the Trainee Program, which gave me a great first step into the bank. From the start, you gain a network with colleagues and learn about different processes and parts of the organisation. SEB is quite large and complex, but you get an excellent overall understanding of how everything is connected. That is something that I still have great use of in my current work.
Just a few years after his time as a trainee, Oskar got his first managerial position and has since worked with IT strategy and business development. A major strategic investment with aims to make SEB more data-driven was made in 2016, which allowed Oskar to take on the role of a Domain Architect. In this role, he works on developing strategies for how IT systems within SEB’s different domains can improve.
– I have worked as a Domain Architect since then, but with growing responsibilities. However, over time, and in connection with implementing agile work methods, the area has changed significantly. Today, I am a Domain Architect for the Data and Process domain. There, I am responsible for five larger areas and about fifteen architects, making sure that we always have a development in how we work with the architecture.
Not just a technical role
IT Architects play an important role in the digital transformation of an organisation, Oskar explains. A large part of the job therefore not only includes understanding technology, it also requires having an understanding of the organisation in that the new systems are meant to be implemented.
– You need to understand the organisation's overall goals and suggest solutions for how different processes can be digitally adapted based on these. To a large extent, the role of an IT Architect, therefore, is about understanding and systemising information - the information that is needed in a certain process, the information that is created in a process, and the information that comes out of a process, Oskar says and adds:
– It’s easy to see the architect purely as a technical role, but I believe that it is important to have different perspectives. Of course, you need to have an interest in technology and the organisation that you work in, but a large part of the job also includes human interaction. You are constantly collaborating and communicating with many different people. So, if you want to create digital change, you can’t only be a rockstar when it comes to writing code, you also need to package everything into a message that can easily be communicated to others. Therefore, I believe it is important to have an interest in machines, people and the interaction between them.
What is the best part of working as a Domain Architect?
– What I think is fun with the architect role is the combination of having a holistic and strategic perspective, while also being able to dig deeper into different questions. You need to be driven by the will to learn more, ask questions and understand how things work. When something doesn’t feel logical, you should want to fix that and find new solutions. Understanding how different things are connected has always been my driving force.
“There is a strong will to change, innovate and do things more efficiently within the bank”
What has made you stay at SEB?
– SEB today is far from the same bank as when I started 15 years ago. The environment is much more dynamic and we are at the forefront in many different areas, not least in the Swedish and Nordic markets. So, that definitely makes it more interesting to stay. Besides that, there are always opportunities to try different roles within the bank if you want new challenges. Those offers tend to turn up, and accepting them is usually never a problem. For example, I have had some different positions within the bank, but I have always managed to keep my network. And that has been very important in my job as a manager - having a network that I can share with others.
Why should young talents choose SEB?
– There is a strong will to change, innovate and do things more efficiently within the bank. We invest a lot in development, so there are many opportunities to look at new technology and also put that in an interesting context. Due to that, the role of an IT Architect is very interesting. You get to contribute to making things more efficient with the help of technology, which creates higher customer satisfaction but also better returns on the bank’s capital, and thus even more opportunities.