The global demand for web-based applications regarding financial products and services drives the financial sector to innovate through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects. The ICT projects are launched for the diffusion (spread) and implementation of new software or hardware by using web-based platforms in order to offer innovative financial products and services across the branch bank system. These projects are initiated, diffused, managed and implemented by global actors, so-called ICT change agents. Despite the increased recruitment of ICT change agents, there is relatively little research available regarding ICT change agents in financial services projects. Specifically, little consideration is given to the interaction process between formal and informal ICT change agents' roles. Based on a case study methodology in Australia and Germany, this research indicates that deadline-oriented projects drive ICT change agents to play various formal and informal roles. Their formal roles are performed in accordance with organisational settings and project management standards, whereas their informal operations are due to the rapid-changing and global nature of ICT technologies. The findings are summed up in a new framework which indicates that both types of roles impact on the outcomes of financial services technology projects.
The increasing demand for technology-enabled public sector services drives state agencies to launch information and communication technology (ICT) projects. The Australian and German state agencies are taking a proactive role towards technological change by employing so-called ICT change agents. These ICT change agents introduce, diffuse, manage and implement ICT within projects. Despite the mobilisation of change agents, there is scant research on the formal and informal roles of these key individuals within public sector projects. This article bridges that gap by providing valuable insights into the activities of public sector ICT change agents. It is based on empirical research from six case studies in Australian and German state agencies. Findings from these studies indicate that public sector ICT change agents position organisations to take advantage of cutting edge technologies by performing a great variety of formal and informal roles. Formal roles are performed in order to accomplish set formal project tasks, while informal roles help to speed up rapid ICT adoption and innovation through the change agents’ informal networks. The findings are delineated in a framework for future research which shows that formal and informal roles impact on the outcomes of public sector ICT projects.