It worked for Hercule Poirot; it should work for "investigators" in the bank tech world. What we need now more than ever before are thinkers, disrupters, analysts, inventors, and new ways of doing things. The mechanical processes are pretty much operating at peak performance after more than 45 years of using improved technologies.It's time now to push back and critique our own stuff. I'd like to see little think tanks sprouting at out-of-the-way places. Non-banker attire should be at the discretion of the wearer. After what Steve Jobs has created for Apple, I'm goin' with tattered jeans and black turtle neck. Each day should begin with this challenge, "Why are we doing it this way?"
Major tech innovations in the past launched new ways of doing things. My favorites include, data communications, mid-range computers for in-house processing, ATMs, relational database management systems, software development tools, personal computers, the Internet, and digital imaging. Congress contributed also by changing the laws to allow for new ways of clearing checks. For the first time in 45 years, there is no major new innovation in sight that will improve the way banks work. That's why we need a think tank initiative.
Imagine the new titles: CCO - Chief Creativity Officer, CSA - Chief Systems Architect, DONA - Designer Of New Approaches. A banker in my annual report about what bankers think of their technology may have started already with his e-mail address - "firstname.lastname@example.org"
As I push back and critique my own annual report, Automation in Banking 2007 I'm spotting subtle evidence from vendors that there's more to their business than just selling great products and services. Fidelity, Metavante and Harland Financial Solutions identified, and even talked about their commitment to their consulting practices that show banks how to improve their operations.
If all the new ideas were focused on just the Internet, it would keep people busy for years. I still have reservations about Internet security, especially when I see e-mail warnings from eBay, PayPal and banks that I don't even have a relationship with. If we can secure Fort Knox, there must be a way to secure the Internet. That goal reminds me of my apparent naiveté when in the fifties I said I'd like to see what's on the moon. Eyes rolled and my buddies said, "Yeah, Art, you and Alice Cramden." Less than twenty years later, two guys told us.
I'm on vacation and I've got lots of work (thinking) to do. When are you takin' yours?
-Art Gillis www.artgillis.com