“Squirrel!” was a common refrain at meetings when some staff members saw the next shiny technology object that we just had to have – usually because a large bank was rolling it out. Saying “squirrel” became code for “let’s stay focused.” The real problem was that many suggested projects were actually worthy of attention and investment. Further, we had no framework for evaluating innovation and deciding how many projects to tackle in a given year and in what sequence. Below, you will find an eBook that steps through budgeting benchmarks and a methodology for deciding our priority of innovation. We also provide an ordered list of popular technology projects currently underway at community banks large and small. Each project has a description, cost ratings, a complexity rating and a ranking based on a risk/reward prioritization score.
The Five Tech Foci of Banks
The list is long for banks, but projects for the foreseeable future break down to the following five themes in order:
- Digitizing existing bank products – loan origination, credit, account opening, etc.
- Cybersecurity – Enhanced perimeter defense, data encryption, endpoint security, etc.
- Existing system upgrades – core system conversions, Win 10, website, mobile, etc.
- Automation of bank processes – ACH/P2P reconciliation, patch updates, etc.
- New product development – mobile private banker, B2C payments, etc.
In addition, our prioritized list of over 26 major projects, also included some of our draft requirements for projects like a mobile account opening application (below), process automation application, artificial intelligence and security/event stack enhancements.
This “TechMap” is designed to advance the strategic conversation about where banks should be thinking about making an investment and what those investments might look like. In our discussions with over 300 banks, we have attempted to boil down those common projects that banks are planning to work on over the next several years complete with ratings.
If you have additions, comments or questions, please let us know as we look to update this guide in the future.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on January 29, 2018