I stumbled across a blog post from a colleague in the USA, Kathy Burger, announcing the end of Bank Systems & Technology (BS&T) last week. I then noticed her commentary was deleted from the website.
My guess is that BS&T is ceasing print media and has made Kathy redundant, as her post implies that BS&T is disappearing online and offline. The website is still up and running, but her post is not.
Either way, it's a sign of the times as I hate print media, to be honest, and read everything on tablets and mobile devices these days. In a strange twist however, I never read books on devices, as I far prefer the tactile nature of turning pages.
Anyways, in the spirit of fond farewells and the fact that BS&T deleted her post, here's Kathy's final update on the BS&T world:
After more than 50 years of reporting on the bank technology industry, Bank Systems & Technology will cease publication. It's been a great ride.
In 1964 banking technology was mostly about safes, signage, coin bags – as well as massive mainframe computers that were starting to change the ways banks handled transactions and customer information. Today it’s still all about security, customer experience, payments and data management, and massive mainframes are still part of the picture – along with technologies and capabilities that few bankers could not imagine 51 years ago.
For that half century-plus, Bank Systems & Technology has been there to chronicle and analyze the trends, developments, innovations and people that have made the bank technology space such an incredibly vital and vibrant part of the global economy. We have reported some of the most successful financial institutions and profiled the most visionary and effective executives who have marshaled the capabilities of all sorts of software, hardware and services to make their organizations more productive, profitable and competitive. BS&T, which launched in 1964 as Bank Equipment News, updated to Bank Systems & Equipment and adopted the Bank Systems & Technology name in 1989, originally fulfilled this mission as a monthly print magazine. Over the years we expanded to include online and digital channels, high-level networking events for senior bank executives, webinars, video and radio shows. Even when we stopped producing a print edition, Bank Systems & Technology has excelled at delivering timely and essential insights across multiple channels to the bank technology decision-makers at financial institutions large and small.
It’s a great success story that, sadly, is now coming to an end. Our parent company, UBM, announced this week that it is removing BS&T — along with our other financial technology brands, Wall Street & Technology and Insurance & Technology – from its product portfolio. UBM is realigning to become an events company with a focus on large, “big tent” trade shows, and decided that BS&T, WS&T and I&T do not fit into this strategy. BS&T’s website, banktech.com, will live on as a tab on the InformationWeek.com site, but will not feature new content after this week.
As with countless other illustrious publications, BS&T’s fate of course also was shaped by the dramatic changes in the media business overall. Most prominent has been the rise of the Internet, which on the one hand created fantastic opportunities to broaden our coverage but also spurred new and sometimes elusive advertising and revenue models, as well as new types of competitors. Despite these challenges, from a content standpoint BS&T has always evolved, adapted and tried to look ahead so that we would continue to excel in serving our community. But despite the size and importance of the financial technology market and our success in serving that market, the company is going in another direction.
This also means that I will be leaving the company at the end of January, after more than 25 years of covering both banking and insurance technology. It has been an incredible experience and honor to be able to be involved in two of the most innovative and important industries on earth – technology and financial services. I have learned so much, and have had the opportunity to work with some of the smartest and most interesting people around – not only bankers but also technology company executives, analysts, researchers and consultants, industry association officials, regulators, lawyers, and educators. That means all of you – your engagement, insights, feedback and participation has made our success possible. I’m so lucky and grateful to have had this opportunity.
I also want to acknowledge my fantastic co-workers. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work with some really talented, passionate, creative and fun people – the journalists who have interviewed you, reported on your companies, and worked with you at live events and webinars. They’re a big part of why I have loved this job and never been bored.
As I say goodbye I am hopeful that I will continue to stay in touch with many of you. You can reach me at Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter at @kathyburger (I’m on LinkedIn and Facebook, too).
So long … for now, and thank you for your support of Bank Systems & Technology. Now, on to the next chapter.
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991.