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The Future of the Chief Information Officer in the Digital Financial Services Industry

Goal and Research Questions

Digitization, specifically digital products or services and new levels of automation, is increasingly becoming an important success factor for banks and insurance companies, i.e., the digital financial services industry. Traditionally, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has been responsible for digitization, i.e., the use of information and communications technology (ICT). His position has been controversial in some companies for several years: On the one hand, more and more budget and responsibility for ICT is shifted to the business departments. On the other hand, there are new positions such as the Chief Digital Officer, who is responsible for digitization. In addition, the companies have created the function of a Chief Data Officer, who is responsible for maximizing the value of data. Based on this background, the CIO2028 research project aims to provide answers to the following research questions:
  1. What is the future role of the CIO in the Financial Services Industry (in competition with IT competence of the Chief Digital Officer and the Chief Data Officer or in the business)?
  2. What went well and what should be improved regarding managing digital transformation?
  3. What are the key competences of the CIO in corporate IT in the future?
  4. How will IT be managed and steered in an increasingly digitized Financial Services Industry?
  5. What is the most effective setup for digital transformation?
  6. What does the target operating model for the IT of the future look like?
The CIO2028 research project focuses on CIOs from Germany and Switzerland.

Composition of the research team

The research project team consists of a core team including Walter Brenner, Sudip Lahiri, Maria Crameri, Barbara Brenner, and Nikhil Manda (?). In addition to the core team, 10 to 15 CIOs and CDOs from banks and insurance companies are invited to participate in this research project. They contribute their knowledge, experience, and their view of the future to ensure that the results can be implemented and have an impact on practice. CIOs who wish to participate in the research project are asked to contribute as follows:
  • 2 conversations or interviews of 1 - 1.5 hours each (Challenges/Practices/Models), of which one interview of approximately 2 hours will be included in the book
  • Participation in the three workshops physically or virtually
  • Interview of approximately 2 hours as contribution to the book (dialogue)

Research method, documentation, and publication of results

The CIO2028 research project is conducted as applied research. The research process consists of several rounds of interviews with CIOs from companies in the banking and insurance industry and roundtables (workshops) in which the results of the interviews are discussed and consolidated. This may be accompanied by a survey of CIOs from the banking and insurance industry to broaden the knowledge and experience base for the project. The results of the project are documented or published
  • as presentations in the form of slide decks for the preparation of the roundtables
  • as a book authored by Brenner, Lahiri, and Crameri
  • as (short) articles for the dissemination of the contents of the research project
  • as posts and videos in social media

Structuring of the research project and major milestones

The research project will be structured along the three thematic blocks: Challenges, Good / Best Practices, Vision, and Future of the CIO. A roundtable / workshop will be dedicated to each of the three thematic blocks to discuss and consolidate the ideas of the participating CIOs:
  • Roundtable 1: Challenges of the CIO and Corporate IT / Banking of the Future
  • Roundtable 2: Good / Best Practices Managing IT in Digital Financial Services Industry
  • Roundtable 3: Model(s) of the CIO of the Future (Vision/Options)
In preparation for the roundtable / workshop, preparatory interviews will be conducted with all participating CIOs, which will be processed for analysis by the research team.

Benefits for the CIOs involved

By participating in the CIO2028 research project, the involved CIOs gain insight into how CIOs from other banks and insurance companies operate, which challenges they face, and how experts from the University of St.Gallen, HCL, and Mario Crameri see the future. The CIOs can openly exchange views with colleagues. In addition, publishing the interviews in a book distributed worldwide is a good opportunity to promote their IT and the respective company. At the end, each participant will receive a letter signed by Walter Brenner, Mario Crameri and Sudip Lahiri confirming their participation in the research project.

Rough schedule

  1. First round of interviews: January/ February 2023
  2. Roundtable (Workshop 1): March 2023
  3. Second round of interviews: June/ July 2023
  4. Roundtable (Workshop 2): August 2023 (after summer vacations)
  5. Third round of interviews: November/December 2023
  6. Roundtable (Workshop 3): January 2024
  7. Writing of book: January to April 2024
  8. Publication of book: 3rd/ 4th quarter 2024 (depending on publisher)

Costs for CIOs to participate in the research project

There are no costs for the CIOs participating in the CIO2028 project, except for expenses by attending the roundtables / workshops. The project is funded by courtesy of HCL.

Academic independence

The research team states that HCL will not influence the research methodology and the content of the results. The cooperation with HCL is listed on the corresponding website of the University of St.Gallen. All essential results of the research project will be publicly available in the published book.


Walter Brenner


Barbara Brenner

The algorithms of artificial intelligence are constantly being further developed and are being used in more and more products and applications in business and society. Numerous prototypes are being developed to open up the use of artificial intelligence in a wide variety of application areas. Nevertheless, only a few prototypes succeed in making the leap into productive applications that create sustainable business benefits. This paper series shows that processes and structures are needed for the management of artificial intelligence to ensure the sustainable success of AI systems.

Im Rahmen einer Lehrveranstaltung des Masters in Business Innovation im Frühjahr 2021 gelang es, ohne vertiefte Kenntnisse der Bäckereibranche durch Verwendung bereits vorhandener Daten und durch Nutzung von Methoden der Statistik und der Künstlichen Intelligenz die Verkaufsprognosen der Filialleiterinnen und Filialleiter zu übertreffen und die Verkäufe des folgenden Tags mit einer Abweichung von ca. 13% bis 14% vorherzusagen. Diese unerwartet guten Ergebnisse lassen den Schluss zu, dass der Einsatz von Methoden der Statistik und der Künstlicher Intelligenz auch in KMUs wie Bäckereien in Zukunft wettbewerbsrelevant sein wird. Wenn es gelänge, die Prognosequalität zu verbessern, wäre in Bäckereien Nutzen in zwei Richtungen zu erwarten: Der unternehmerische Erfolg kann gesteigert und der Foodwaste reduziert werden. Allerdings bräuchte es mehr und bessere Daten, weiteren Austausch mit Experten der Domäne sowie geeignete Apps, um datengetriebene Prognosen in den Bäckereien zu implementieren.

This paper introduces a framework for managing bias in machine learning (ML) projects. When ML-capabilities are used for decision making, they frequently affect the lives of many people. However, bias can lead to low model performance and misguided business decisions, resulting in fatal financial, social, and reputational impacts. This framework provides an overview of potential biases and corresponding mitigation methods for each phase of the well-established process model CRISP-DM. Eight distinct types of biases and 25 mitigation methods were identified through a literature review and allocated to six phases of the reference model in a synthesized way. Furthermore, some biases are mitigated in different phases as they occur. Our framework helps to create clarity in these multiple relationships, thus assisting project managers in avoiding biased ML-outcomes.

New technologies, changing customer expectations and a competitive business environment impact financial firms and their workforces in Switzerland. Financial firms are aware of the need to transform to be successful in the future. The measures and best practices they apply are analyzed and presented in this study. The analysis showed that there is no single successful approach, and that successful firms engage in a variety of activities to transform their workforce, learn fast and are capable to adapt to changing needs. The analysis also showed that the focus of financial firms is to educate, to re-educate and to create a culture of change in the workforce. The objective of this study was to examine how financial firms transform in the light of the outlined market and technology developments. More precisely, what measures do financial firms take regarding their workforces to meet changing customer expectations, to adopt new technologies, and to stay competitive in the market. Customer experience is the key driver of change in the financial industry. Financial firms have recognized that customer needs are changing based on customer centric experiences from other industries. In the new era of financial industry, where switching costs are low the bargaining power of customers has significantly increased. Digital workforce enablement is inevitable in a world where every interaction becomes digital. Financial firms are taking measures to prepare their workforce to master becoming more digital and interact with the customers accordingly. They are offering educational content on digital technology and enable digital collaboration through digital collaboration tools. Incubation and innovation are key transformational aspects since the pace and dynamic of the financial industry has significantly changed. Financial firms need to incubate and innovate faster, adapt to customer needs and implement new technologies in a way that benefits the organization. Financial firms take measures to embrace an innovative mindset in the work-force, pursue novel partnerships in ecosystems and enable the so called “startup mentality” in their organizations. Agility and agile culture is needed to foster an innovation and incubation on an organizational level The study found out that financial firms are moving away from rigid hierarchical structures to a more agile way of working. Financial firms are aware that working in teams and generating bottom-up innovations have become a necessity. Also, new performance systems are introduced as measures to award team spirit and collaborative working. The simplification of the application landscape is inevitable for financial firms to increase speed-to-market. Over the years, financial firms embedded many applications in their existing IT landscape which led to slowness and inefficiencies. The interviewed leaders recognize that the IT legacy is an obstacle for speed-to-market and good customer experience. IT legacy also hinders financial firms to effectively compete with new players entering the market. New players can build their application landscape from scratch and in a customer-oriented way which allow new entrants to provide exceptional customer experience at affordable prices. Automation & efficiency programs are needed because financial firms face operational efficiency pressures due to competition and changing regulations. Financial firms are much aware that 40% to 60% of current jobs in the financial industry could be automated in the future. Thus, financial firms are preparing their workforces with education and re-education measures, create new job roles and promote self-directed learning. Particularly, the study found out that the responsibility to prepare for the future is shifting from employer to employees. The employer provides the possibilities and it is up to the employees to prepare for future job roles. The study covered the measures taken by the financial firms to transform. However, our study shows that not enough urgency in the workforce is created to achieve the desired changes. Only if the measures can drive change on an organizational level, a financial firm can go through a successful transformation and remain competitive in the future.

get_appWalter Brenner, Manfred Broy, Jan Marco Leimeister
Die Informatik und mit ihr unsere Fähigkeiten, große Softwaresysteme zu schaffen und mit wirtschaftlichem Erfolg einzusetzen, haben sich in etwa 75 Jahren dramatisch entwickelt. Waren anfänglich Fragen der effizienten Lösung von Problemen im Vordergrund, die bis dahin insbesondere manuell behandelt worden waren, hat sich die Informatik in Stufen mehr und mehr zu einer Disziplin entwickelt, die völlig neue Möglichkeit eröffnet und Innovationen schafft und auf dieser Basis von höchster wirtschaftlicher Bedeutung ist. Diese vergleichsweise schnelle Veränderung der Informatik ist bisher weder in der Informatikausbildung, noch in der Anwendung der Informatik in der Praxis, gerade in etablierten Unternehmen, entsprechend berücksichtigt. Die schnelle Veränderung erfordert entschlossenes Handeln. Wirtschaft wie Hochschulen müssen sich auf eine Informatik neuer Prägung einstellen und ausrichten, denn nur dann wird es möglich sein, dass die bisher sehr erfolgreichen Unternehmen in Europa ihre führende Position verteidigen und mit Hilfe der Informatik in neue Innovationsbereiche vordringen können.

The concept of generativity as the capacity of a technology or a system to be malleable by diverse groups of actors in unanticipated ways has recently gained considerable traction in information systems research. We review a sample of the body of knowledge and identify that scholars commonly investigated generativity in conjunction with digital infrastructures and digital platforms, both of which are complex, networked, and evolving socio-technical systems. Interestingly, other types of digital artifacts have been neglected, despite our initial assumption that the distinct attributes (e.g., reprogrammability, distributedness) of any digital artifact match well with generativity. The literature review also reveals that innovation brought about heterogeneous groups of actors is universally regarded as the goal of generativity, discounting the possibility of exploiting generative systems towards other valuable ends such as organizational agility. Furthermore, scholars commonly discuss generativity in conjunction with the logic of modularity, leading to unresolved questions on how these two concepts might complement each other. Another important contribution of this paper is the systematization of various meanings of generativity, spanning from the philosophical - e.g., generative mechanisms in critical realist research - to a more literal understanding, for instance generativity as synonym to ‘creation of a particular solution'.

This paper conceptualizes IT service management (ITSM) capability, a key competence of today's IT provider organizations, and presents a survey instrument to facilitate the measurement of an ITSM capability for research and practice. Based on the review of four existing ITSM maturity models (CMMI- SVC, COBIT 4.1, SPICE, ITIL v3), we first develop a multi-attributive scale to assess maturity on an ITSM process level. We then use this scale in a survey with 205 ITSM key informants who assessed IT provider organizations along a set of 26 established ITSM processes. Our exploratory factor analysis and measurement model assessment results support the validity of an operationali- zation of ITSM capability as a second-order construct formed by ITSM pro- cesses that span three dimensions: service planning, service transition, and ser- vice operation. The practical utility of our survey instrument and avenues for future research on ITSM capability are outlined.