BMO's five steps to delivering IT value

Von David Carey
Den Wert der IT für das Unternehmen zu steigern, gehört zu den Herausforderungen für CIOs. Bei der Bank von Montreal machen fünf Zutaten das Erfolgsrezept aus.

Quelle: CIO Canada

Many will recall the controversy stirred by the Bank of Montreal back in 1996 when it used Bob Dylan's hippie anthem "The Times They Are A' changing" to advertise mbanx, North America's first stand-alone, full-service e-banking option. What may not be so well known is the subsequent failure of mbanx to attract sufficient numbers of customers. In particular, it failed to get buy-in from a key demographic, tech-savvy young customers eager to bank in cyberspace.

"What we found was that the times weren't a' changing as fast as we had anticipated," recalled Lloyd Darlington, who has helmed IT at the bank for the past 15 years. "We let enthusiasm for the vast potential of Internet banking overwhelm our judgment of how flesh-and-blood customers might actually respond."

With mbanx, customers couldn't do business in a branch. Underestimating the value of the branch system to the customer turned out to be a gross underestimation. In the end, mbanx was converted to just another channel in the spectrum of banking options BMO offered to customers.

Darlington, now president and CEO of BMO Financial Group's technology organization, Technology & Solutions (T&S), experienced many of the highs and lows that accompanied the 'IT Revolution' of the 1990s. As he put it, "I've seen both the irrational exuberance and the morning-after hangover of aggressive IT spending."

That 'IT Revolution' is now, thankfully, a fading memory. And along with it have faded the rampant fears that helped spawn it - the paranoia around falling behind in the IT race and losing competitive advantage or possibly even sinking the company. When it comes to IT investment, organizations are now proceeding with more caution, seeking to minimize risk and ensure the investment returns good value to the company.

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