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Financial Firms Forge Ahead With Innovation, Survey Finds

According to third annual "Digital IQ" survey from Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, 50% of firms say innovation was their primary strategic focus for 2009.

Technology organizations are burdened by huge cost and compliance demands, but now more than ever financial organizations across the U.S are forging ahead with innovation, according to the third annual "Digital IQ" survey from Diamond Management & Technology Consultants.

According to the survey of 160 business and technology executives, 50% of firms say innovation was their primary strategic focus for 2009. [The findings confirm the opinion of four of the financial services industry's top technology leaders, who offered their thoughts on IT innovation in exclusive interviews with Wall Street & Technology and our sibling brands in the InformationWeek Financial Services group.]

"CIOs that don't innovate are much more likely to lose powerbase and just become order takers. On average more CIOs are focused on innovation," confirms John Sviokla, vice chairman of Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, who co-authored the report with Chris Curran, CTO.

Still, beyond the desire to innovate, some CIOs are falling short, Sviokla suggested, in an interview with WS&T.

On the not so good side, more than half of all technology projects are not delivered on time or do not meet expectations, Sviokla says. Further, organizations are looking at CIOs to step up and be broad leaders, but unfortunately often they are not up to the challenge.

"In the financial services, broadly speaking the CIO is the only one in the executive suite who has a line job, like a vice-president of manufacturing for example, but also has controls for the organization.

The CIO is the only one who does both those things. It's important then that great CIOs focus both on the market - such as customer experience, etc - as well as on the inside," explains Sviokla.

According to 27% of those surveyed, the CIO lacks productive working relationships with business leaders.

Only 31% "strongly agree" that the CEO is an active champion of using information technology to drive business goals.

Only 18% "strongly agree" that business and IT leaders share the same detailed understanding of the corporate strategy.

Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio

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