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Panel Discussion: The Role of the Bank CIO

Experts from the vendor and consultant communities discuss the evolving role of bank CIO.

John D. Dickson
President, Banking and Credit Services, CSC (Falls Church, Va.):

As a result of new regulatory requirements that have significantly reduced fee income on traditional customer accounts, banks are being forced to rethink their traditional ways of doing business.

The need to attract and retain new and more profitable customers is forcing a renewed focus on the effectiveness of current channel strategies and the need to build more efficient ways to reflect profitability at the individual customer level. For example, delivering the ability to produce a single report that accurately reflects all of the touch points and activity the bank has with an individual customer is critical. This report not only reflects the history, but also more accurately predicts future behavior for cross-selling opportunities. CIOs must provide innovative ways to create enterprise value in order to do more for less and in less time.

The new reality is that CIOs must strive to improve the IT value proposition in helping drive more cost-effective enterprise growth as they intersect the roles of IT and business. More than ever, CIOs must continue to evolve a holistic business view and invest in business processes, people and technology to support the bank's future aspirational goals.

Bob Grasing
President, Robert E. Nolan Co. (Dallas):

Bank CIOs continue to grapple with the IT impacts from compliance, information security, expense management and infrastructure issues. Those challenges are routine compared with what's ahead. Perhaps most pressing is the continuing evolution in customer behaviors.

Transactions are steadily moving online, and customers are demanding richer mobile functionality. Meanwhile, employees are using their own mobile devices in the workplace. CIOs must develop a comprehensive mobile technology strategy that encompasses customers and employees, and envisions a future in which nearly every routine transaction is conducted online and on-the-go.

Another key issue is talent. Despite high unemployment, attracting and retaining the best people remains challenging. CIOs need innovators on their teams who can drive change and lead key initiatives such as analytics, mobile technologies and process management.

Two essential skills for a bank CIO are business acumen and innovation. The banking industry's challenges and opportunities are business issues, not technology issues. A CIO with that perspective will drive innovation where it makes business sense, and in turn help create a better bank.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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