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Next Governor - Embrace Technology!

Speculation has been rife over who could be the next Governor of the Bank of England.  Recently  the Guardian gave us a glimpse of who the potential candidates could be.  Any of the eight figures printed could easily become the most powerful and important official in the UK. With all their backgrounds steeped (rightly) in banking experience, the important question to ask is what is their grasp of information technology like?

Frankly, without technology a bank would simply fail.  Technology is intrinsic to how modern banking functions. It offers both risks and solutions that need to be understood and acted upon. Technology skills should be a facet of what makes a successful central banker.  Potential Governors and senior management need to constantly update their knowledge on the tech space, that is, if they want to succeed in running a successful banking system. I mean, we don’t expect the candidates to be tech geeks, but an understanding of how IT can enable sound banking is key in my view. 

It is important the candidates understand the external and internal challenges which face banks today (which I am sure they do). The new global economy, emergence of new technologies, political change and the relaxation of foreign regulation all have huge impact on financial organisations.  In order to help them cope with these challenges and to maintain a competitive edge, banks need to embrace business transformation and technology is the tool to help do this. 

Instead of looking at traditional approaches to IT management, banks can consider different approaches. For example looking at IT solutions that speak the language of business management, rather than complex software apps delivered for IT people. This will empower business management with the ability to control IT processes and push them in the right direction depending on the business objectives of the bank. 

Using BPM, for instance, can help banks automate rules, processes and workflows in accordance with pre-determined business objectives turning business insight into actionable work processes that positively affect the organisation’s bottom line. Furthermore, by embedding regulatory requirements, internal policies and business objectives into a unified platform of BPM applications, banks will be able to meet the strictest compliance demands, while delivering better services to their customers.   

Such an approach can drive significant cost efficiencies for financial organisations, while improving work efficiency and business agility. This can help banks streamline work processes across different lines of business and geographies and achieve the needed flexibility to remain competitive in a highly demanding business environment. 

It can definitely be said that whoever is to take over from Sir Mervyn King must understand the importance of technology within the banking world in order to embrace change, drive growth and productivity in the UK economy.


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