The text is in four parts with a conclusion which draws together and summarises the key findings. Part I outlines the findings of the relevant research literature and specifies the research questions. Part II describes the retail financial services sector, giving an overview of key business trends and the use made of information technologies. Parts III and IV examine how the firms which took part in the surveys are changing their IT systems, restructuring and reorganising the way they work, and the progress they are making towards integration and towards realising the potential of IT for transformation.
Background to the research (Chapter 1)
This chapter describes the changing uses of IT/IS in the organisation through the 1980s to the 1990s. It also traces key shifts in IT/IS and organisational theory and its influence on the strategies organisations adopt to keep in step with rapid change. It states the research questions and identifies the contribution of the research to the wider debate on IT for transformation. It provides the context in which business transformation in the retail financial services sector is considered in this book.
The financial services sector: an overview (Chapters 2-3)
Chapter 2 is an overview of the UK retail financial services industry, defining the sector and describing the key business challenges and its responses to them, including strategies for survival and for developing new markets. Chapter 3 analyses the changing structure of the sector and summarises the progress made in harnessing the potential of IT to improve performance in the market-place in each of the four main areas of the financial services sector—life assurance, general insurance, banking, and building societies.