Banks’ Evolution Calls for New IT Skills

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    As part of Citigroup’s plan to slash 11,000 jobs globally, 2,600 are expected to be cut in its operations and technology group, The New York Times reports.

    With Bank of America’s plan announced in September to cut 16,000 jobs, this would seem to be a dicey time to take a bank IT job.

    An article at Information Management, though, describes the IT job market for banking as “relatively strong if not spectacular.” It points to new opportunities in areas such as mobility, open development, cloud computing, social networking, analytics and advanced data management.

    And, of course, banks don’t want to be left out of the mobile payments market, which Juniper Research predicted will grow to $670 billion by 2015, up from $240 billion in 2011. As so often happens, though, the real innovation there is taking place at startups, readwritemobile notes.

    Steve Landberg, a partner at executive talent and consulting firm Claymore Partners, warns that the level of outsourcing at banks means “selective hiring” for IT, though areas related to risk management and compliance remain strong. He also predicts social media will be a new area for growth.

    Regulations such as Dodd-Frank and Basel III add to the IT burden, with John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, quoted as saying:

    “The requirements are only going to grow. Banks already have such deep and sophisticated systems to track and make [compliance] reports, and the new data they are required to capture is only going to increase, and that will mean more jobs for people in areas like systems development.”

    The architecture and programming languages for mobile payments are far different than that of banks’ legacy systems, some of which are 40 years old, the article says, requiring banks to bring in new skills. Many are moving to agile development methods, a culture change in itself.

    Ramesh Nair, a vice president and Booz & Co., said Big Data projects also are pushing culture change on IT workers, who increasingly are required to collaborate and use shared development techniques.

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