Being Very Recent Isn’t Very Fun

My wife and my two daughters will tell you:  Dad is not a very trendy guy.  Thus pulling together information for my upcoming Mega Conference talk is driving me CRAZY.  How do I choose three technology trends when there really is no way of determining what even constitutes a trend?

I find myself thinking:  “Maybe I can use the entire hour defining what a trend is?”

I know, I shouldn’t be openly complaining.  But when I first got this gig, I told myself “you’ll have to wait until the last moment to do this one.”  Why?  Because predicting technology doesn’t work.  It is very difficult to look beyond six months, much less a year or 18 months.

But fortunately Chris Bennett at the Indiana Bankers Association has a really good policy of requiring us speakers to get our handbooks to her several weeks in advance of the talk, so I’ve got to start choosing soon.

Real soon!

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve carried the IT Planning mantra since the inception of our company.  We spent the first eighteen months of our existence preaching that IT Planning is not only important, but it is risk mitigating, cost-saving, and morale-boosting.

And we preached that two things should be performed in order to develop (update) our Information Technology Plan:

  1. Pull together all of our risk assessments, audit findings, and test results.  Analyze them for actionable “to-do’s” and bring them into the planning process.
  2. Gather together a list of all the new technologies and technology trends.

You then use these two lists to create what we call a “task/resource list” that specifies everything that “might” happen over three time-frames:  definitely in the next six months, probably in the next 12 months, hopefully in the next 18 months, and long after the plan has been updated!

So I realize that my talk can deliver real value . . . I’ll be to able help the audience accomplish the first step of the second item above if I am successful.  They will have a well analyzed list of technology trends.  I will be the net-caster, the guy who brings together that list of technologies and trends that we run by the management team.

Now I just hope that most of the people in the audience are getting ready to update their own IT plan, because of course my list will be out of date in six months!   Arggghhh!

And . . . .

. . . . maybe I’m a bit too detail oriented here, but I’m looking at 65 unique trends/predictions that I’ve pulled from only seven different sources!

  • Top 13 Topics for the IBA’s 2010 IT Security Conference (April 2010)
  • The Aite Group’s Top Ten Banking Trends for 2010 (February 2010)
  • Kaspersky’s Predictions for 2010  (January 2010)
  • William Mills’ Bankers as Buyers 2010 (January 2010)
  • Sawyers and Jacobs Top Trends Impacting Bank Technology for 2010
  • Dan Hadaway’s Ten Scariest Bank Technology Trends (December 2009)
  • Plant Moran’s Technology Innovations in Banking (March 2009)

Granted, one of the articles is my own, and thankfully so far all ten of my trends are still trending.  I have to say that the reports by Aite and William Mills are amazing, and I’m thankful I have been able to find this information.  I’m including Plant Moran’s report in this because even though it’s already a year old, most of their predictions are starting to come true (maybe they were just a year ahead of themselves).  Of course I already have a very high regard for Jimmy Sawyers, so finding his analysis had a calming effect on me.

I found several other studies, but they all seemed to have an agenda.  Stuff like “banks will start buying my technology or close their doors forever.”  I also found the analysis that Laurie Rees (of the Indiana Banker’s Association) and I are conducting to determine topics for this year’s IT Security Conference (October 13th and 14th) was helpful in determining priorities (at least of our survey group.)  That’s always a scary project because we need to determine in May what will be important to attendees in October.

The Google Search was very frustrating, but I’ll bet that’s about the first place that Chief Information Officers and IT Vice Presidents all over the world have to start.  So I now realize that my talk, if I pull it off, will help CIOs and VPITs and ISOs all over Indiana as they embark on one of the new trends.

Interestingly, one of the trends declared by Sawyers and Jacobs is called “Technology Planning Makes a Strong Return.”  So that is definitely one of the three trends I will speak about.  And thus I can provide the results of my analysis to the audience.  I’ll let them come out to our workshop portal and download a spreadsheet that they can use to analyze technologies, and I’ll show them how to do it.

And hopefully make being very recent at least a little more fun!

Would you like a sneak preview?  Of course you do!

But then you won’t need to come to the Mega Conference!   So no . . . . I’m NOT going to ruin it by giving you a sneak preview.

But I tell you what, instead of giving you a sneak preview, here are some issues I discovered that were surprisingly NOT addressed by the eight articles cited above:

Transcending Goals:

I was thinking: “what are the overarching goals that banks should be considering as a driving force in prioritizing their IT Plans?”  Of course there are the obvious:  maximize revenues, minimize costs.  But here are three goals I’ve heard my clients mention:  1) Banks are not guardians of money, they are the custodians of information.  2) People now fear the future.  Technology should help the bank overcome that fear, rather than reinforce that fear.  3) Tellers will never touch your money.

Fingerprint Signatures

Will we sign loans with a pen, or our fingerprints?

Mobile Phone Companies are Banks

Will we be competing with the credit union down the street, or the search engine on everybody’s desktop, or the mobile phone company who sells us our cell phone?

Google is a Bank

Will we be competing with the credit union down the street, or the search engine on everybody’s desktop, or the mobile phone company who sells us our cell phone?  I know, my question is redundant on purpose.  But Google acquired a banking license (in the U.K.) and that concerns me.  I really think this could be a scary trend.  I’m also seeing articles about peer-to-peer lending, where websites do the work of your loan officers, matching buyers and lenders.  Scary.  And, that doesn’t include the impact of e-Bucks or Paypal.

No Envelope Deposits
An ATM where you can mix checks with cash and the scanner recognizes, images the check, counts the cash, and delivers a receipt to the customer.  I know, this isn’t really earthshaking, but I think it’s cool and of course since I’m not bringing it up in my talk, I will here!   (Remember?  This is the “non-sneak-preview!”)

Financial Transaction Kiosk
Replaces an ATM and offers more service than just the “Magic Money Machine.”  It won’t reach out and scratch your back, but it’ll do almost everything else.

Geographic Expansion thanks to On-line Banking

Will we be competing in the “Emerging Marketplace” . . . making our on-line presence available to China and India?  Or do we see this as the “bubble of all bubbles” as some investment gurus warn?

Personal Financial Management as a Threat

PFM made it on a few of the studies.  They see a trend that banks will partner with PFM applications in order to increase the value of on-line banking and offer more service to the customer.  There is a great business case that PFM can help with customer retention, and I get that.  But the studies didn’t point out that PFM could end up being a competitor of banks.  Disintermediation, a trend cited by the Aite Group, where the middle-man is removed from transactions, was close to this.  But in my mind websites that are using on-line resources to help consumers and small businesses manage their finances can present a threat to banking.   See mint, geezeo, and yodlee, who present opportunities to banks as partners.  Maybe I’m just overly paranoid, but I just want people to realize that they also present a competitive threat to smaller banks.

Mobile Banking

Will we be paying for our cell phones or will they be given to us for free, just like a visa card is now given to us?  Meanwhile, can you at least spell “The Millenial Generation (Generation Y:  1977-1998)

Why does that matter?  Because 40% of Millenials indicate that mobile banking features will be a factor in their choice of banks.

Okay, I’m kidding on that last one.  Yes, Mobile Banking was the one trend that made EVERYBODY’s list.

So yes, you can expect my talk to include Mobile Banking!  So yes, you did indeed get a sneak preview!

I hope to see you there!

Posted by:
Dan Hadaway CISA, CISM
Managing Partner

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