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Gartner: banking and investment CIOs most keen on digitalisation

Dubai International Financial Centre
Dubai International Financial Centre

Banking and investment services CIOs are increasingly convinced that their old business models and existing value propositions will not be sustainable in the future, according to research from Gartner.

Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 3,160 CIO respondents in 98 countries and across major industries, including 354 banking and investment services CIOs.

“Digital transformation and its related technologies such as APIs are more important for banking than for other industries,” said Pete Redshaw, managing vice president at Gartner. “Banks and other banking and investment services organisations clearly recognise that the status quo is not sustainable, and they must disrupt themselves before it is done to them.”

When it comes to strategic business priorities, the survey found that digital business and digital transformation is more important for banking (first priority for 26 percent of respondents) than for all industries (17 percent). Just behind digitalisation on 25 percent, growth/market share is a further key priority, followed by complementary focus areas of profit improvement (12 percent) and customer focus (11 percent).

Blockchain did not feature as one of the most important priorities, ranking 20th for banking and investment services.

Banking and investment services CIOs also place a relatively high priority on the globalisation of their businesses (7 percent), a priority which does not make the top 10 at all for the all-industries average.

In response to the question ‘Which technology areas do you think are most important to helping your organisation differentiate and achieve your mission?’ BI and analytics topped the list with banking sector CIOs at 26 percent followed by digitalisation and digital marketing at 21 percent.

In terms of differentiating technologies, four categories stand out when compared to other industries

Artificial intelligence (AI) is seen as more differentiating (8 percent) for banking than the all-industries average (5 percent).

The combination of application programming interfaces (APIs) at 4 percent and omnichannel/multichannel at 3 percent are not especially high, but they are not present at all in the all-industries top 10.

Legacy modernisation is a top 10 item for the banking industry, but not present in the all-industries list.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a top-10 item for all industries (6 percent), but is not present for banking and investment services.

“These priorities point to a continuing tension between two opposing forces,” Redshaw said. “On the one hand, there is a need to rapidly transform the business, while, on the other hand, there is the innate inertia that arises from a huge IT estate that supports a heavily regulated industry.”


Figure 1. ‘Top Tech to Win’

Rank Banking/Investment Priorities % Respondents
1 BI/analytics 26%
2 Digitalisation/digital marketing 21%
3 Mobility/mobile applications 11%
4 Artificial intelligence 8%
5 Cloud services/solutions 8%
6 Legacy modernisation 4%
7 Application programming interface 4%
8 Customer relationship management 4%
9 Automation 3%
10 Omnichannel/multichannel 3%

Source: Gartner (October 2017)

Planned additional spend on digitalisation/digital marketing is also much more prominent in the banking and investment services sector (22 percent) than the all-industries average (12 percent).

“This is an industry that recognises that a firm must become truly digital – in culture, value and technology – if it is to stand a chance of surviving and thriving,” Redshaw.

Cloud is ranked lower in the banking sector (4th versus 2nd for all industries) but has the same percentage assigned to it (13 percent).


Figure 2. Top New Tech Spending

Rank Banking/Investment Priorities % Respondents
1 Digitalization/digital marketing 22%
2 BI/analytics 18%
3 Cyber/information security 13%
4 Cloud services/solution 13%
5 Data management 10%
6 Mobility/mobile applications 9%
7 Networking, voice/data communications 7%
8 Infrastructure/data center 7%
9 Artificial intelligence/machine learning 7%
10 System/process information 7%












Source: Gartner (October 2017)



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