It's not about good news or bad news for 2006. It's all about different news. And what a welcomed change that will be! For this analyst, forecasting a predictable industry had become too easy, very boring, and usually contrary to what the trade journals, fed by "in-depth research reports," were reporting. Here's one example of the contrary part. CRM is supposed to be the top-priority tech project (American Banker 11/9/05). That sounds like the first resolution on every New Years list, "Lose 15 pounds." Good idea, but it ain't gonna happen. Here's another one. Large banks (125 of them) will replace their legacy core systems because they're over forty years old. Uhuh. And the strategy for the war in Iraq was "Shock and Awe." We are in shock and the World is in awe over one man's power to influence so many. What I believe is a pretty good list of things to come is based on my work in the trenches. But I should warn you, it gets muddy there, and my vision is not always sharp.For banks
- Work performed under the heading of Safety - compliance, data security, check fraud protection, Internet-related protection, exception reporting and financial integrity
- The reselling of Internet banking, this time, performed by bank legal departments
- More Check 21 work to increase the value and benefits derived from check image exchange
- Continued systematic increase in electronic bills and payments
- Treasury services and cash management - the rebirth of what has always been a good application
- A moderate number of core system replacements at small and medium FIs (about 4% of 17,700)
- Best-sourcing - you do these jobs and we'll do the rest
- CIOs to Department Heads: You get the money, we'll do the work
- Budget Directors - India's low wages won't last forever. Which way to East Timor?
- At 878 FIs - To the IT staffs of the acquirers: H.R. has adopted their own definition of 24/7. To the IT staffs of the acquirees: See ya.
- OK, so you want a plug for CRM? It'll be on the list forever because it's a philosophy, not an implementation.
For tech companies
- The reinvention of Fiserv
- The proliferation of Fidelity Information Services
- The year Metavante finally goes public, without the IPO fees, as learned from the newcomer
- Open Solutions will get the shock of its short life when it realizes how valuable the architecture of its core system is compared to the mainframe monster it is acquiring from BISYS
- Jack Henry & Associates discovers the sport of leapfrog, as performed by newcomers
- OJT ends at Harland Financial Solutions after several small acquisitions. Now it's time for the big one, and funding won't be the problem; finding will.
- Five Internet banking companies will come up with a plan to please Wall Street as they attend a seminar on Riverside Avenue to learn, from a newcomer, how to put together a consortium
- The theme at annual sales kickoffs - The party's over and your new titles are "Miners." There's 7% organic growth in them thar hills. Go git it!
- The pool of like-companies for acquisitions is drying up, so acquirers will look at "unlike" prospects, and that means potential danger. Shopping at Wal-Mart means you might bring home a lettuce instead of the endive your spouse really wanted.
- Success will be earned by the quality of the sales organization in this "me too" society of products, support, implementation and customer care. My 36 tools, replaced by a slick salesman.
- Anything in Asia
Forget Happy, I wish you all an Exciting New Year
Art Gillis--%-- KEYWORDS: