September 24, 2008

Elitism sometimes gets a bad name, but there's no doubt that there are some professionals who stand out from the pack. However you describe these overachievers, they are not only outstanding at what they do -- they also make everyone they work with better, which, of course, also helps their companies excel and succeed.

This is especially true when it comes to bank technology organizations. The executives who lead IT initiatives in financial services are in tougher positions than ever before -- addressing recession, global competition, subprime fallout and regulatory scrutiny on one front; keeping up with fast-moving technology developments on another; and juggling budgets, staffers, end users and customers on still another. There are many opportunities for failure, or at least for mediocrity, which means that those CIOs and other senior technology executives who actually are able to innovate, help drive growth and make IT a true strategic partner of the business really are in a different class.

Which brings us to Bank Systems & Technology's annual report on the most innovative and effective technology executives in banking. Now in its fifth year, the report's scope has been expanded to profile eight outstanding leaders, whom we are dubbing "The Elite 8." The skills, accomplishments, management insights and vision of these eight men and women set them apart as elite professionals.

To identify the 2008 Elite 8, the BS&T editorial team -- led by senior editors Maria Bruno-Britz and Orla O'Sullivan -- reached out to some of the most insightful players (bankers, analysts, vendors) in the industry and also reviewed the numerous nominations that came in from the BS&T community. The final cut exemplifies what it takes for banks of all sizes to perform and flourish in today's difficult banking environment.

We'll highlight the achievements of the 2008 Elite 8 at BS&T's upcoming Executive Summit, "Competing in a Borderless World," Oct. 19-22, 2008, at Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix. You'll find more details about this event online, at www.banktech.com/summit-2008.

No matter what the politicians might be saying this campaign season, when it comes to IT leadership, it's good to be among the elite.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 & ...