February 10, 2004

Business Technology Forecast 2004

Running a bank without efficient business technology is about as effective as waiting for monkeys on typewriters to produce the complete works of Shakespeare. But there are alternatives.

2004: Year of the Green Monkey

In Chinese astrology, 2004 is the Year of the Monkey. It's also the start of a three-year "Metal" cycle, boding well for the realms of money and banking.

If astrology's not your cup of tea, Bank Systems & Technology has also elicited insights from top technologists, strategists and consultants in the industry. Fortunately, the experts are saying the same thing as the oracles-after a few tough years, things are looking up for the financial-services industry.

But every divination has a flip side. In this case, the big question is about who'll be able to hang onto a sustainable competitive advantage in a global, image-enabled, wired marketplace for financial services? Which gorillas get the bananas and which chimps slip on the peels?

(Incidentally, Geoffrey Moore, who singlehandedly brought simian metaphors into corporate strategy with "Crossing the Chasm," founded The Chasm Group in 1992 - also a Year of the Monkey!)

The first part of this special section includes insightful interviews with top bankers:

- Bob Rickert, CIO of KeyCorp, describes the bank's bold moves to prepare for the new landscape enabled by Check 21,

- Wendy Ross, CIO of Riggs Bank, speaks about sweeping changes at the Washington, D.C.-based bank,

- Tim Meier, CIO of Umpqua Bank, prepares for growth with a new network infrastructure,

- Ted Peters, President and CEO of Bryn Mawr Trust Company, discusses the outlook for mergers & acquisitions in banking.

Then, we hand it over to the analysts, with contributions from TowerGroup, Financial Insights and Deloitte Consulting.

Also, we take a look the prospects for eight separate lines-of-business, to see what this year's calendar may have in store for Bank Systems & Technology readers in different revenue centers.

Retail Banking
Treasury Services
Small-Business Banking
Credit/Debit Cards
Wealth Management

Finally, Eric Sepkes, VP & Director Global FI Strategy of Citibank, shares his perspective on the potential impact of a Pan-European ACH network.

Best of luck for 2004, and Happy New Year!

- The Editors