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Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have shaken the financial services industry to its deeply entrenched roots. Gone are the days of traditional banking, insurance, and brokerage transactions. In their wake is a global market of business opportunities with ICTs enabling the convergence of an expansive array of integrative financial services and new strategic directions for the seasoned players, as well as for a swelling crop of new participants.

In just the past two years, new technologies, including general-packet radio services, component-based banking frameworks, XML-based messaging, and Web services, have spurred the creation of innovative financial implementations and transaction options. This month's special section spotlights these advances, presenting some of the dynamic new architectures and state-of-the-art examples of ICTs for financial services.

Guest editors Kuldeep Kumar and Jos van Hillegersberg have pooled a select group of industry and academic leaders from three continents who offer unique perspectives on related business, technology, and work processes. In proposing this section, Kumar and van Hillegersberg noted the immeasurable value these technical advancements afford the financial community and the importance of embracing them. "Firms should not only have the requisite vision and strategy, they should also be nimble in creating and operating the business model and the associated enabling technology infrastructure. Strategy is easily formulated; agility and strength of execution distinguishes the winners."

Also in this issue, Devaraj and Babu offer a comprehensive model for measuring the effectiveness of technical training programs and how they translate to employee job performance. And a study by Xia and Lee illustrates why it is essential to fully understand the complexity of an IS development project before diving in. Chiang and Mookerjee argue that proper process design is crucial to team productivity. And Zhang et al. explore the recent advances in e-learning technology and practice, presenting experimental results comparing their effectiveness with conventional classroom learning.

Finally, read how ACM stands for innovation and the free flow of information. In "Viewpoint," ACM's Office of Public Policy Director Jeff Grove explains the Association's recent stand opposing legislative proposals seeking to expand U.S. intellectual property protections governing access to and use of data collections. And on page 80 meet the candidates running ACM's 2004 General Election who introduce their credentials and address their plans—and stands—for the Association.

Diane Crawford,

©2004 ACM  0002-0782/04/0500  $5.00

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2004 ACM, Inc.


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