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The Growth of Technology at ESL Lays Groundwork for Future

April 8, 2021

By Joe Buscaglia
Senior Vice President/Chief Information Officer

ESL is currently undergoing a major IT transformation. After working in IT for many years—more than 30 to be exact—I am inspired and motivated to see the work happening at ESL Federal Credit Union right now. While many may think of a financial institution as primarily dealing with debits, credits, savings, and loans, the reality is that technology is driving the most significant changes for our organization. The moves we are making now with our technology will shape our offerings for years to come, as a solid IT foundation will help set ESL on a continued path to success.

The ESL IT workforce has grown like crazy in recent history, having doubled the size of our staff since 2014. To build on this consistent growth, we are now committed to increasing our IT workforce by more than 20% in 2021. One key driver of that growth is a focus on data accessibility that will foster innovation for us, allowing us to better serve our customers. Throughout 2021, we expect numerous new IT positions to open within our development, infrastructure, architecture, and information security areas to help fuel our tech adoption and growth. These new employees will contribute to the building of systems that allow us to better adapt and evolve our offerings to the market.

Improving Data Management

ESL has made significant investments in data in recent years. More people are shifting their interactions with us to digital channels. A recent study by J.D. Power found nearly half of all banking customers used their financial institution’s mobile app more often during the pandemic. As digital interactions increase, it is also important to ensure the organization of data takes place in an effective, efficient, ethical, and secure manner.

“We strive to ensure our digital channels offer the same positive experience as what our customers come to expect with in-person interactions.”

ESL prides itself on providing a superior customer experience and on maintaining an exceptionally high net promoter score. We strive to ensure our digital channels offer the same positive experience as what our customers come to expect with in-person interactions. Optimizing these digital interactions can help us continue to service the changing needs of our customers.

A Focus on Development

Our growth, and its accompanying work, is dependent on us using the most up-to-date development toolsets. Experience with Azure or other cloud platforms, REST, Node.js, React.js, and other APIs, are just some examples of the technologies we’re working with in our tool belt. Our digital development team is using agile methodologies to develop solutions that help our community. Expanding our responsive mobile and web applications will drive greater flexibility in our ability to adapt our digital support offerings to the needs of the market.

Upgrading and Adapting Our Infrastructure

Whether you’re an engineer or an administrator, we have tremendous opportunities to help ESL refine our infrastructure. We currently operate one of the largest enterprise cloud environments in the Greater Rochester area. Right now, we have more than 900 virtualized servers, set up on a hyper-refresh schedule with Azure and AWS, and we’re looking to extend our infrastructure within the public cloud.

Information Security

As we work with a state of the art, cloud-connected, converged infrastructure, we are committed to ensuring only the highest level of security within our digital environments. The security of our customers’ data is of the utmost importance to us, and our Information Security team will expand to mirror growth of our technology.

Working for a Strategy-Focused Organization

There are countless benefits to working at ESL, but one piece that sets ESL apart is our action and alignment to strategy. In our latest strategic plan, we’re working to completely overhaul our IT infrastructure and architecture to prepare for the next 10 years. ESL has a strong financial footing to fund our growth—organizationally and specifically with our IT investment—while ensuring we are supporting the credit union’s activities to serve the community.

A Commitment to Purpose

At ESL, our Purpose is to help our community thrive and prosper. The role IT plays in realizing that purpose is essential and ever evolving. Our IT team is at the heart of developing digital solutions that meet the unique needs of the community. Our employees are socially conscious and embrace the opportunity to give back within the Greater Rochester community.

Through the Employee Volunteer Program, employees can take advantage of paid time off to volunteer their support for a cause close to their heart. One recent example from our IT professionals includes a small group who worked with a local nonprofit to consult and advise on an entirely new tech infrastructure for their organization. This work was completed months before the pandemic took place, and it allowed the organization to quickly adapt to a remote environment.

“ESL is reinventing ourselves on the technology front and looking for the best and brightest to join our team.”

People are at the Heart of it All

Technologies evolve and change over time, but people are at the heart of what makes everything happen. Throughout all my years, I’ve seen new tech come and go, and pivot and adjust to provide new offerings. No matter the change taking place—time and time again—it was the people that made it work. Our employees who live our core values have brought us to where we are today and will continue to position us for success well into the future.

I always say that our IT workforce feels like a startup embedded in a company with more than 100 years of history. You have all the excitement, challenges, and fun of a startup with the stability and foundation of an organization that is firmly rooted in Greater Rochester. ESL is reinventing ourselves on the technology front and looking for the best and brightest to join our team.

Interested in learning more? Check our careers page for the latest job listings:

Or connect with Sr. IT Talent Business Partner, Katie Scott on LinkedIn.

ESL Federal Credit Union and its subsidiaries encourage diversity in the workplace; we are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran.