The failure of business and technology teams to communicate effectively with each other is preventing private banking ventures from offering the best service to their clients, says John Lawrence, Client Director at TCA Consulting .
“The age old problem of misunderstanding between technology and management personnel has been exacerbated within private banking institutions because of major set-backs such as continually depressed equity markets and the failures of several high profile internet-based wealth management offerings ,” Lawrence told a London conference yesterday . ” The renewed focus on achieving return on investment and a parallel reduction in delivery costs has brought IT professionals into conflict with those running the business side, as each struggles with problems of incomprehension and misunderstanding. IT professionals feel that management deliberately sidelines the importance of IT, adopting a ‘silo’ mentality, while the business view is that IT professionals overemphasise the importance of technology for the advancement of the business.”
“Different expectations and divergent interests push IT and business groups apart – senior management are focused on the fulfilment of the business plan, while IT personnel concentrate on the completion and continued functioning ability of IT projects, even when these two don’t have the same end goal. Essentially the problem is that these two groups don’t communicate in the same way. A failure to tackle this problem leads to institutionalised misunderstanding.
“In the IT arena it is true that not everyone will be capable of comprehending complex technical specifications, but confusion goes beyond this. For example, we have found that IT and management have very different ideas about what constitutes a ‘skilled’ IT worker. IT professionals see the key to their advancement as being technical ability, whereas senior managers value communication and interpersonal skills.
“In order to better deploy company assets, management and IT personnel need to stop paying lip service to good communications skills and learn to communicate more effectively with each other. Take, for example, the use of jargon. In the IT arena, acronyms and jargon abound – GSTP and CRM being two of the most common recent buzz words. Without proper explanation, these are likely to become hurdles to understanding rather than aides to it.”
John Lawrence concluded: “The first step for organisations looking to refine their external business strategy should be to sort out their internal communications, ending the traditional schism between IT and commercial departments to maximise investment in the creation of a culture of ‘co-maker’ between the IT and commercial sides of the business. This will contribute to the smoother running of the business, averting the kind of tribal warfare currently brewing, and ultimately improving the quality of institutions’ investment decisions.”