Depending on the year, financial services leaders seem to focus on completely different goals. In some years, capital market CIOs are working on innovative projects with newer technologies in hopes of getting an edge on the competition. And then the next year, the consensus seems to be a laser focus on cost cutting, doing more with less and shrinking IT budgets.
Ever since we started the Gold Book eight years ago, it became obvious that the swings in the business cycle are immediately seen in the IT organization. A great year usually translates into a budget that allows for some experimentation and innovation the following year. A lean year, usually shows CIOs and CTOs struggling to find ways to keep innovative projects running while also trimming the IT organization.
In 2005 and 2006, there were a lot of projects focused on reducing data latency and improving trading systems, as high-speed trading really took off and firms could invest heavily in newer high-speed technologies, such as CEP and the fastest servers. In 2009, the financial crisis took hold and firms focused on cost cutting and improving risk management capabilities.
[To take a look at the 2012 Gold Book honorees, visit: THE GOLD BOOK 2012.]
When 2010 rolled around, many firms seems to think the worst was behind them. As a result, we found CIOs trying to push the innovation agenda again, with much success. However, the "good times" were short lived, as trading volumes plummeted in 2011 which, in turn, tanked profits. Today, the industry is still adjusting to the "new normal" of smaller IT organizations, new business models and an entirely different financial services marketplace.
So what will be see from our 2013 Gold Book Honorees? It's hard to tell. Big data, enterprise risk management, cloud and mobility projects will likely be no the list, but that's a pretty easy prognostication. Will the industry be reinvesting in technology? Or will 2014 be another year of trimming and cost cutting?
More importantly, who will be in the 2013 Gold Book? The editors at Wall Street & Technology are currently seeking your input. We have a short list already, but perhaps there are executives who aren't on our radar, or who are doing something innovative that we don't know about.
If you would like to submit a nomination for the 2013 Gold Book, please do so through our easy-to-use online form. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly. Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio