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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Top banks count the cost of PSD compliance

Tier one banks in Europe have set aside as much as EUR20 million each to attain compliance with the EU's Payment Services Directive (PSD) by November, with about 30% of the budget earmarked for techno...

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Half-Full or Half-Empty: IT Psychology

Depending on your outlook on life you're either looking at things and saying "Oh no...our world is changing again. Or for the optimists; "oh yeah...our world is changing again. Or for the realists; "oh...our world is changing again."  Perhaps the changes are not as dramatic as the world envisioned in District 9 but they are changing nevertheless.  And let's be honest, change is rarely an easy thing to do. 

Breaking down the numbers in the survey referenced in the article, you can clearly see the optimists, the pessimists and the realists who exist somewhere in the middle.  

  • 63% of respondents say they do not consider new entrants - such as new payments organisations, telcos and utilities - to be a significant threat to their business.
  • 26% see PSD as an opportunity to form new strategic partnerships or acquire new entrants. 
  • 11% foresee serious competitive threats emerging from the directive.

You make the call--which group is which?

For me, the easiest way to decipher is to look at where and how the groups are spending. For the most part, pessimists believe that no matter what they do things will turn out the way they will turn out.  They anticipate a negative outcome so why should they spend money on technology that at the end of the day won't make a difference.  So for pessimists who see the world--bah humbug and all--technology investments had better solve the problems at hand because failure might be right around the corner.  

Optimists on the other hand, think that the world is full of opportunity so despite what they see in front of them they will shoot for the stars.  Their technology investments are usually geared toward innovation because they recognize that the world as it exists today could be much much better tomorrow so why not get ready for it now.   

Somewhere in the middle sit the realists who are--not surprisingly--often the most difficult to define much less analyze.  Realism is not as easy as the glass half full or half empty because every analysis is dependent on the changing situation at hand. Understanding the technology spend for realists is more difficult because they are driven by changing dynamics that determine if they solve for today or solve for tomorrow. 

At the end of the day, whether optimist, pessimist or realist, technology enables success or failure based on the viewpoint of the organization. Technology will never solve all of the pessimist's problems because too often the scope of each initiative is narrowly focused on a single siloed issue.  Technology will never solve all of the optimists' issues because the focus is on the big picture with an understanding that flexibility is a critical part of each and every project.  Technology will solve the daily/monthly/yearly problems of the realist because each initiative is designed with a defined timetable and the expectation is that they will face the next challenge as it arises.  

Where do you see yourself?  Your organization?  I'm going back to my Starbucks because my glass is...?





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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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