A Special eGuide: Financial Services, an Industry on the Vanguard

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Companies throughout the financial services industry are engaged in massive changes on the technology front -- they're embracing mobile systems, social media, real-time processing and more. The smart ones see the shifts as ripe opportunities for business growth and they're preparing their IT staffs to step into these new arenas, armed with specialized training and career support.

The advent of mobile payment systems, including tools based on near-field communications technology as well as old-fashioned bar codes, is expected to transform the industry. Yet progress means overcoming obstacles, including U.S. consumers' concerns about security. Experts say the rate of NFC adoption will be further slowed by the fact that banks, IT vendors and wireless carriers are creating competing alliances and vying with one another to partner with third parties like retailers and transit agencies. But everyone agrees that change is coming, as faster and more feature-rich smartphones keep hitting the market, and as consumers grow more interested in making payments using smartphones and tablets.

This eGuide -- from the editors of Computerworld -- provides a look at the unfolding mobile payments market, as well as other technology shifts in the financial services industry.

Savvy CIOs, such as Prudential's Barbara Koster, know the importance of having the right IT staffers in place to make these changes possible. She's helping to lead a slew of initiatives to find and develop IT talent at Prudential.

Many banks, in an effort to bring real-time applications to customers -- and boost their bottom lines -- are changing out their core systems, some for the first time in a decade. The price tag? More than $100 million to replace those aging systems.

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