The end of summer is upon us again, faithful Gonzo groupies. The kids are back in school… vacation’s over… our credit card balances are at new highs… the end of the heat wave is somewhere out there… your department’s annual budgets are completely blown… so what’s missing? Right… it’s time to start the annual strategic planning process!
Today’s tome addresses factoring technology into the planning process. The classic version of strategic planning starts with the premise that strategy drives technology. First the vision, then the goals, then that tactics, then the systems needs and priorities.
But (at the risk of being a contrarian) this really isn’t always true, particularly in that part of the banking world that deals with Internet delivery and payment systems. In fact, the technology has driven strategic planning much more than we want it to. Consider these examples:
These examples illustrate how technology came on the scene and caused banks to change the way they deliver services.
Here’s my point. What drove (and is driving) significant change in electronic delivery and payment systems has been a combination of two things:
It is important to recognize that while banks have effectively pursued these opportunities or mitigated these threats, they were responding reactively and not in accordance with a proactive strategy.
Most banks need a component of their strategic planning process that looks at external factors that will influence the bank in the next year and will require special focus. Here are five trends I would suggest examining and factoring into planning/budgeting:
Even if the trends I discussed will not directly impact your bank, there is technology out there, some being funded by out-of-industry competitors who want to pick your pocket. And customer behavior always exploits what is easier and cheaper, even if it’s not good for you. So, in between the continental breakfast and the group exercises, talk about these things.
Technology may not always drive strategy, but it sure is the back-seat driver barking out instructions and telling you to speed up.