IT departments at financial services companies must innovate or hibernate to get through the recession, according to Gartner.
The analyst firm made the call at its recent Symposium in Cannes.
IT innovation can drive radical change in the business, while hibernation can minimise expenditure and leave the organisation with resources to deploy later in the economic cycle, said Alistair Newton, research vice president at Gartner.
Organisations that choose a middle way risk squandering their IT budget on incremental modernisation for little gain, he said.
"Far from being fast followers, companies in-between the two options will be ditherers or laggards who waste their IT budget on incremental modernisation, which will have little or no consequence for their business," said Newton.
He highlighted four ways that financial services organisations companies can "embed innovation in their corporate culture and agenda".
These are: 1. Branches need to be re-designed to sell and advise, 2. More focus is needed on personalisation, 3. Social networks are increasingly important, and 4. Banks must also upgrade their approach to payments.