CIO Leadership, Technology, IT Performance

And now for hors d'oeuvres: IT Change in Financial Services

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Let me continue the food theme to my blogs. The other week, I spoke at a Financial Services IT Executive Dinner in central London. There were Heads of IT from several banks and insurance companies. The topic for the evening was "Change in Financial Services" and sparked a really interesting exchange of perspectives. Change clearly means very different things to different people and different organizations.

For one established insurance company, change led to discussions around Solvency II and transforming to keep the regulators happy. To an underwriter at the dinner, change meant modernization and joining the 20th century. No. That's not a typo. The executive told the room that everything was still done manually, in triplicate, and on paper. One copy went to the client. One copy went to the insurers and the other ...... "got shoved in a filing cabinet".

To the innovative organizations in the room, change meant faster and better IT service delivery. As an aside, I find it really amusing how so many IT leaders try so hard to avoid saying the "C word". It was as if saying the word "Cloud" was beneath them. It was like watching heavy metal fans squirm as they discussed the X-Factor.

'Effecting change to embrace mobility', was also a topic. In this respect Barclay's Pingit and plans for Vocalink to build a database which links mobile numbers to bank accounts were discussed. Mobile is currently a huge, hot topic in its own right. More blogs to follow.

IT management helps with change. Automation can help the innovators build their new services faster as well as enforce good IT practice and alignment of IT with business strategy. The right IT information can help de-risk the transformations necessary to keep the regulators happy. It can also help diagnose IT problems more quickly so that customer satisfaction is maximized. And control over your IT stops silly people from doing silly things. The most common reason for an IT outage is a silly (manual) change.

I hope that satisfies your appetite until the next morsel.


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