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Sibos - What's all the chitty chatter about?

As the the first day of Sibos draws to a close and it’s time for delegates and exhibitors to pack their bags and head off for the sights and sounds of Amsterdam.

But, before my hard working colleagues on the SunGard booth go off and we don’t see them again until 08:00am Tuesday morning, we have time to reflect on the day’s discussions. With more than 40 scheduled meetings, perhaps this might be a little too much to discuss in one posting,  so let me try to summarize the collective feedback from my SunGard brothers and sisters.

Key Discussion Themes

A lot of discussion as been around the banks’ desire to reconnect with its customers but with this also comes a lot of reflection.   After all, it was only 2 years back that we watched the recent financial crisis start to gather pace. 

Until 2008, banks primarily aligned their IT strategies to support business growth.  Larger banks tended to do this by purchasing “best-of-breed” point solutions; smaller banks looked for agility in product innovation within their budget capability by purchasing integrated solutions to solve a wider range of business challenges.

During 2008 and 2009 this changed

In developed economies, banks increasingly looked to save money using short-term measure in all their operational cost areas, including IT; this lead to the delay or abandonment of many large, long-term strategic projects.  The crisis bit more gently in developing economies, causing delay or reduction in scope in many projects, but frequently not outright stoppage or cancellation.

It has become clear that the banking industry is gaining a renewed sense of optimism, wouldn’t you agree?  Take Lazro Campos’ opening address at the Innotribe Stream and the upbeat mood seen on the exhibition floorIn fact, banks are looking for innovative ways to rebuild trust, improve client retention and increase client profitability.  One way to do this is through technology optimization.

There is comment in the industry that this may be for the long-term or short-term, but it is nonetheless clear that it is beginning to drive early cycle purchased behaviour.  Banks would seem to be looking for higher economic efficiency, and this is true for IT as much as it is for other operation spends.  This efficiency manifests itself in projects aimed at achieving the following objectives:

  • Leverage Vendor Relationships / Solutions to provide more capability at a cheaper price
  • Apply technology to reduce operational costs
  • Apply technology to encourage business growth, in a way which encourages front office automation and hence cost efficiency
  • Move towards common supplier / application model where this improves efficiency

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend Sibos in person this year, so I would love to hear what have you have heard, been saying and seen and compare it to those dedicated SunGard folks staffing the booth at C310.


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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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