Happy New Year to everyone in the financial services technology community. The industry has a lot on its plate for 2014 -- new compliance requirements, legacy systems decisions, workforce and skills issues, and an unsettled competitive environment are just some of the challenges with which bankers, solutions providers and other strategists must grapple in the coming months.
[How will technology change banking in 2014? Four Bank Tech Trends For 2014]
It's not all headaches and unwelcome mandates, of course. I expect to see continued exploration and innovation in areas such as big data and analytics, mobile, and flexible/variable architecture and computing strategies including cloud and as-a-service models. None of these technologies are new, but as they move beyond bleeding edge we'll be seeing banks of all sizes put them to increasingly creative and productive use.
[Coverage of big data, regulation and all things mobile were among Bank Systems & Technology's most-read articles of 2013.]
I think it will all come together in a renewed prioritization on agility. Agility has been a goal of financial institutions for many years, but we finally have reached a point where the technologies, management perspectives, market conditions and business conditions have advanced and aligned to a point where it's no longer aspirational. Banks need to be able to identify and respond (not react) to changes and opportunities, and they need to be able to do it efficiently. The capabilities to do this are available now to any financial institution -- we are officially in the era of "no excuses."
It's a new era for Bank Systems & Technology, too. The past few years have seen tremendous change and upheaval in the media/publishing businesses, including the business-to-business media space in which BS&T engages. For us and for our company, UBM Tech, 2013 was the most dramatic and disruptive year yet, as we embarked on a new corporate strategy focused on engaging with industry communities and tapping into those communities for expert content and commentary. Along the way we completed a transition from print to entirely digital content, along with a renewed focus on live events.
For Bank Systems & Technology, in some ways everything has changed -- and in others, nothing has changed. While we will be publishing digital issues on a quarterly basis, we will be producing in-depth analysis and reporting every day, featured on our website and in our email newsletter. We will continue our tradition of building relationships with the top decision-makers in the financial technology industry – and will be working with these strategists as expert contributors who will engage with each other to explore the developments shaping the banking technology industry. We'll be serving that industry with a mix of timely digital content (watch for a revamped site and content platform early in 2014) and online and live events -- including new events in 2014 focused on mobility in banking, technology economics, and BS&T's annual Elite 8 report on the most innovative and effective technology executives in banking.
2014 will be significant for Bank Systems & Technology in another way -- it marks the brand's 50th anniversary. We launched in 1964 as Bank Equipment News, updated in the '70s to Bank Systems & Equipment, and relaunched in 1989 as Bank Systems & Technology. From coin bags and safes to mobile payments and customer analytics, we have helped define what is leading edge in the world of banking technology and have supported the community of professionals charged with putting these innovative and enabling technologies to effective use.
For BS&T as for the banking industry -- even as the tools and business models evolve, our core mission and commitment are unchanging. On behalf of the entire Bank Systems & Technology team, I look forward to serving our community in new and exciting ways in 2014 -- and beyond!
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio