Top Challenges Facing Bank CIOs Over the Next Year

Bank Systems & Technology asked several industry experts for their take on what will be the next big issue bank technologists will tackle in 2014.
October 04, 2013


Innovation the Key

Jacob Jegher, Research Director, Celent

Bank CIOs and technology executives face all kinds of challenges. Every technology executive in the banking industry should focus on turning these challenges into opportunities. The key is to innovate on all fronts. Innovation can be both internal (e.g., finding creative ways to maximize a budget) and external (e.g., providing new and exciting tools to customers). Bank CIOs and other executives need to build a cohesive approach to innovation management. It's important to determine who is responsible for innovation in the enterprise and make sure that a culture of innovation permeates from the top down to the front line staff. Innovation can also take on a bottom-up approach; motivated employees are creative employees. Employees from across the bank should be contributing to new product and business ideas. It's a huge challenge to create that culture and emphasize innovation in a constrained environment. Throw legal requirements, compliance, and security into the picture, and it becomes especially difficult to blend innovation into day-to-day activities.

Frankly, technology executives have no choice but to emphasize innovation. This is particularly relevant for digital channels, because customer expectations are being set outside the banking world. Online and mobile banking used to be viewed as alternative channels. This is clearly no longer the case. Digital channels are critical for customers and for financial institutions. Adoption of online and mobile banking has grown steadily, but there is plenty of room for improvement. It's all about creating value for the customer and seeking win-win scenarios. Banks have to move from providing basic transaction engines to offering value-driven interactive solutions.

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