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GEN 11, 2023

A Digital Business Technology Roadmap: The ultimate strategic tool of the CIO

Marianna Vilardi

Senior Marketing Content Creator

Reading time: 2 min


The operating environment has already changed, in step with clients’ behaviour and demands. Today’s clients expect a seamless customer experience that is fast and intuitive, and hybrid tools to be the standard. At the same time, technology is lowering market entry barriers, allowing a completely new breed of digital competitors to emerge, armed with innovative capabilities; FinTechs are reshaping the playing field by improving the customer experience in a variety of interactions.

Firms must adapt to changing technology by developing digital capabilities and digitally transforming their organisations, investing in new systems and infrastructure and change their business processes and models. This can involve automating processes, using data and analytics to inform decision-making, and implementing new technologies such as The Internet of Things.

A significant undertaking yes, but according to Gartner® Bank and Investment CIOs: How to Create and Apply a Digital Business Technology Roadmap, a digital business technology roadmap can assist a bank CIO in providing a big-picture view of impactful digital business technologies today and those that will be required in the future, to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

As a strategic tool, a roadmap will serve as a detailed blueprint of the steps a CIO must take to achieve specific goals and objectives: e.g., the implementation of new technologies, the improvement of security and risk management, and the alignment of technology initiatives with business goals.

Tool in hand, a roadmap will foresee identifying the business goals and objectives the CIO and team will be responsible for supporting and conducting a technology audit to assess the current state of the organisation’s technology. A technology roadmap that outlines the steps needed to support the business goals and objectives – including timelines, budgets and resources required – will be developed thereafter.
At this stage, according to Gartner, current and planned technology investments need to be subdivided into five categories, notably:

  • Information systems — the capabilities that enable banks to carry out their operations effectively and serve their customers;
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) — the capabilities that enable machine customers to act on behalf of a human customer or organization;
  • Customer experience — the capabilities connecting customers to their bank;
  • Ecosystems — the capabilities that enable a network of participants who exchange and co-create products and services on a digital platform to create business value for all participants;
  • Data and analytics — the information and tools to drive more effective decision-making across the bank.

Investments in each category will be then crucially sequenced by time period to properly allocate resources to the most important and impactful initiatives first. This can involve prioritizing projects and initiatives based on their potential return on investment, the level of risk involved, and their alignment with the organisation’s overall goals.

Once sequenced, the technology roadmap must be communicated to stakeholders, including the senior leadership team, IT staff, and business unit leaders. By outlining the steps and initiatives needed to achieve specific technology-related goals, the roadmap benefits the organisation in terms of a clear communication of the direction and priorities of the IT team and the organisation. For this reason, it’s a powerful communication tool, aligning the efforts of different teams and departments and ensuring that everyone is working towards the same objectives.

In addition, a roadmap can help to manage expectations and reduce uncertainty by providing a clear plan for how and when specific technology-related objectives will be achieved, building trust and confidence among stakeholders.
Finally, CIOs are required to monitor progress and adjust the roadmap as needed to ensure that the organization stays on track and meets its goals and to review and update the roadmap regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and aligned with the changing needs of the business and of customers.

The roadmap may encourage financial institutions to develop new strategic plans or to strengthen ones that are already in place and maximise their value, while gradually revealing new areas and opportunities for innovation and growth and for the development of new products and services.

As banks aims at positioning for future success, a digital business technology roadmap can therefore be the ultimate strategic tool of a CIO to make informed, strategic decisions about technology investments and drive growth and success in the digital age.

Gartner, Bank and Investment CIOs: How to Create and Apply a Digital Business Technology Roadmap, Peter Delano, Jeff Casey, and 12 more, 26 April 2022.

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