Banesh Prabhu on where he wants to take the Siam Commercial Bank next

T.C. Seow

Another is to continue to get people comfortable to innovate and think of new ways to do things. We should not let teams rest on past laurels but try to keep them in the mode of being on 'creator' side or 'entrepreneur' side of thinking so that they can be change agents to achieve efficiency or capture available opportunities of a futuristic state. 

Partly connected to skills is the fact that business users very often still haven't been very clear of what their requirements are- sometimes they may not have the skills to identify the business case or articulate the improvement in risk or customer experience. If it is not well thought out, the outcome of the payback of the investments is not optimal. I think that continues, in my mind, to be one of the biggest challenges we have.

Broadly connected with efficiency is the challenge to continue to drive improvements, whether that is optimizing IT infrastructure in the business, re-visiting the expensive channel models of the past, or having the right pool of resources to deliver the users' needs across the bank.

Finally, I would put business alignment. The alignment between IT and business should to be more business focused rather than IT focused. The business-alignment group should have people that cover all businesses and all functional areas so that we have the right people manning the right skills to interface and help the users-not just put together their requirements and investment payback, but innovate new ideas and with good prioritization help the whole project management run efficiently- on time and faster.

What key attributes must technology leaders have in order to be successful?
If I look back at my career, it's been a global career and I've lived in several countries; I have headed many senior Global and Regional roles in Operations and Technology Internationally for one of the largest global organizations -Citibank, across products, functions and channels and I think there are a few things that stand out the main one is I've been always focusing on business outcomes.. One is to create the right culture to bring in change which is a mix of innovation as well as changing the ways we do things. Many of the things that I pioneered were ahead of their time in offshoring, outsourcing and automating, but have become common in the last decade. Secondly, I've touched upon it at various points earlier- developing people. Everybody organization wide has to be a trainer and key staff has to train others, and we have to overhaul and enhance the level of quality of the people. Finally, there has to be a good balance between strategy and execution.

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