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Management Strategies

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Five Indicators Point to a Modest Year for Bank Technology

When vendors tell Wall Street not to expect much in 2008, you know we're in a leveling off period. Here's my take on the subject.

When vendors tell Wall Street not to expect much in 2008, you know we're in a leveling off period.

Here's my take on the subject.1. IT maturity has arrived after at least four decades of successful evolution, and that means new implementations of anything tech will be modest. Not a bad thing, actually. Isn't it nice to be able to say, "We're done"?

2. The position of bankers as they view further investments, maintenance of the "production factory," evaluation of their "enterprise system," and the short term/long term earnings condition of their banks will be a critical factor in the future of technology. Right now, any bank CEO that has a loan portfolio is running scared, and technology is the last thing on his or her mind. 3. The ability of tech companies to exercise an increased business sense about the role of tech products and services, and then follow through with proactive initiatives that will translate into provable value for their customers will identify true winners. Are they up to the task or is it business as usual?

4. The role of Wall Street and private equity firms as they decide how "the banking crunch" will impact tech companies will have a bearing on some vendors that pay too much attention to the performance of their stock. Given other factors in a world of negatives, every ounce of management's attention should be focused on what the company is selling and how much it is selling.

5. The current absence of visionaries and/or inventors (unlike previous years), at least on the covers of tech journals, at conference podiums, and in converted garages and basements, is more than a weak PR campaign. There are no new apps on the horizon. Even Congress isn't adding anything like another Check 21. It's more worried about bank bailout than tech innovation.

Maybe now's the time for CIOs to clean out the three-year pipeline of user requests.

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