When asked to describe his firm’s approach to IT strategy in an interview last year, Joel Schwalbe, CIO of CNL Financial, paraphrased a famous quote by Wayne Gretzky, stating that they “skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s at or where it’s been.” With this statement, Joel alludes to the challenges financial IT face when trying to keep pace with technological transformation occurring in the banking and financial services industry brought on by the consumerization of IT, new technologies, disruptive competitors, evolving threats and more. To use another sports reference – I have to assume that Joel’s assertion hits home for the majority of financial institutions without regard to where or with whom they conduct business.

With Sibos 2014 upon us this week, it makes sense that technology is a big topic on this year’s agenda. The Technology Forum program spans two days and covers a variety of hot topics including cyber security and the importance of striking a balance between mission-critical and innovative IT, among others. The program encourages attendees to “buckle in and find out what you are ready for and what you should be ready for.”

Consider our seatbelts buckled at Citrix. We recognize that change is imminent and that technology is both a factor of change and an enabler of it, as stated by the Citrix CTO Office in 2014’s report, the “Future of Work: Finance” (p. 53). In spite of all this, Citrix customers in the banking and financial services industry are ready and willing to embrace the aforementioned “future” because they’re equipped with the right technology foundation.

Today, our customers in the financial sector, like CNL Financial, are placing a high value on the safety and security of their customer information and are leveraging technology to mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats, like DDoS attacks and data breaches. Says Joel Schwalbe, “We take very seriously the protection of our customer information, Citrix helps us address that.”

Another major challenge for financial IT is finding a balance between maintaining business-critical legacy technology while implementing new technology to drive growth and innovation. And, it’s no secret that the financial IT community is being asked to do this – and simultaneously run day-to-day business operations – with less money and fewer resources. An executive at a global wealth management company notes how virtualization can address the complexities of running “two different businesses both on the same new platform of new applications and infrastructure…at the same time needing to be on [the] older legacy platform. The best approach to doing that was to leverage a virtual desktop…the technology integration, and the business integration, have been a huge success.”

Change is inevitable. But having the right technology solutions and partners can help financial institutions meet it head on, driving innovation and business growth along the way.

For more information on how Citrix solutions for banking and financial services, visit citrix.com/financialservices.

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About the Author:

Jessie Hill is a marketing professional with experience in solutions and vertical marketing and strategy in the high-tech industry. In her current role at Citrix, Jessie is responsible for defining and executing the company-wide vertical solutions marketing strategy for the Banking and Financial Services industry. Since joining Citrix in 2011, Jessie has enjoyed experience serving in both sales and marketing roles. She holds a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Florida. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her musings about technological transformation in the banking and financial services industry on Twitter.