Section 3 of my report, Automation in Banking, is reserved for anything outside the box. Thirty-two other sections are inside the box and I don't apologize for that. There are still conventional things people want to know about bank IT that are very structured and good. I update the contents of the proverbial box every year and no one complains, especially about the 98 exhibits where numbers change and validate a situation more than words can.So this year what was new about Section 3 was an open invitation for anyone, and I mean anyone, to speak out about issues that come under the heading of two key words: banking and technology. In other words, the question was, "What's on your mind these days?"
The call went out in January. We started talking in February and finished in mid-June. The results are documented and waiting to meet recycled paper and wonderful smelling ink. There are 24 docs-gutsy, true, honest, un-political, sometimes promotional, original, and supplied by people I didn't know. Only one person was familiar to me, but for this project, I thought he had an epiphany.
The respondents were so original that I couldn't even categorize their thoughts unless I created 24 categories. They included people from the top eight bank tech companies, other bank tech companies you never heard of, bank CIOs I never heard of or read about in the press, entrepreneurs and consultants.
Every time I create a new research project, my report benefits in two ways-new knowledge that I didn't have, and companies that never respond to stick-your-neck-out tasks. In this case, I was not surprised. The disinterested players included EDS, CSC, ACS, IBM Global Services, Unisys and Microsoft. That was the final straw. You won't see Section 26 (Systems Integration Companies) in this year's report. Saving one branch of one tree was worth the purge.