Fifteen to twenty years ago, it would have been quite ordinary to observe the large number of start-up companies based on a single-product offering under the broad heading of bank tech systems. Major events fed that creativity, including the availability of PCs, document imaging, Internet banking, check clearing legislation, telecom speeds and powerful database management systems. In recent years, however, the scene switched to a different kind of world - that of consolidation. Big companies got bigger, while small privately owned companies disappeared, at least in name.Now, in my view, there appears to be a resurgence of new companies entering the marketplace, so new that some of them are hitting "my shores prior to taking the beach." Sorry for that weak analogy, but I've been glued to the TV watching "The War" these days. There's an interesting characteristic describing the new start-ups these days that sort of satisfies a general observation that describes technology as, "We're done." Today's entrepreneurs are responding to better ways of doing the old stuff rather than creating products to address first-time situations. Stay tuned. Automation in Banking - 2008 (now in the planning stage) will have more than 92 companies in it. The giant will still have 26,000 or more employees, but there will be a few companies with 6 employees.
- Art Gillis www.artgillis.com