Shane Fuoss was recently promoted to vice president in the Information Technology Department at INB. Shane joined the INB staff in 2000, the year the bank purchased a remittance center. Back then, he managed the technology within the center.
Of his early days, Shane says he was a programmer in charge of non-mainframe servers and systems. He had to make sure they were available 100 percent of the time. “This was the start of being on call 24-7,” he says. He’s still on call like this today. And even though you could consider this work “behind the scenes,” he spends much of his time talking with INB employees and customers. To develop custom applications, he says, you have to sit down with people and understand what they need.
When INB bought the remittance operations, Shane was the only IT person. At the time the bank had three servers and about 60 personal computers; today we have 140, mostly virtual, servers and 475 PCs.
Bank’s Early Days
“One of my favorite memories was one of my earliest at INB. One of those first days, Tom Gihl (now executive vice president and chief operating officer) was showing me around the bank and took me to the ‘server room.’ The ‘server room’ in the early days consisted of three servers in the corner of the Board Room closet. Initially I thought, ‘What have I gotten myself involved in?’ But I knew I was given a tremendous opportunity to be part of a great organization that was growing. It has been very rewarding to be a part of the bank’s growth and to see INB prosper going into its 20th anniversary!”
Shane is happy he made the choice to work in banking and IT support. “Working in the banking environment provides the right amount of challenges and gives me the opportunity to work on a variety of applications in a fast-paced and secure environment.”
He continues: “Being able to see the people that you directly impact is rewarding.” He says he’s proud to be one of many resources that allows INB’s management team to accomplish its goals.
Biggest Technology Change
Technology has definitely affected how INB successfully interacts with customers. Shane points to “the virtualization of servers and the desktop environment” as having the most impact on his career.
Shane explains: At our downtown Springfield sites, we still use physical PCs, but throughout the bank and at branches we use thin clients to connect to virtual PCs. Virtualization of servers and computers has helped centralize the core/hardware needed to run server and desktop computers. Disaster recovery and backup/recovery times have also been greatly reduced using virtualization. Virtualization also allows us to recover quickly from problems caused by various factors including Windows updates or vendor software updates. Virtualization has expedited the process of creating a new server or adding a desktop PC. Before virtualization, we would order server and PC hardware, wait for the vendor to deliver, and then spend time installing software on the hardware once delivered. Virtualization has given us the ability to create a virtual server in the matter of hours, instead of days. A new virtual PC, depending on software, can be created in under 30 minutes, instead of the hours or days needed for a new hardware PC.”
Staying current with this and other changes has required going to conferences, interacting with peers, communicating with vendors, and, in some cases, doing weekly training sessions.
Shane says it might surprise people to know that even though he works in our Information Technology Department, he’s not a gamer. Instead, he spends his spare time reading about the latest technology, tinkering with IT gadgets, and helping his father-in-law race his Monza at the drag races in Havana, Ill.