Agile & DevOps – are they always the right approach for banks?

By Sam Patience | May 16, 2017 | Categories: Blog | Tags: , , , , ,

The financial industry has been caught up in a maelstrom of digital advancements in the last few years, and these days you can’t talk about project management or software development without mentioning “digital delivery.” The problem is, that in financial services in particular, everyone seems to have a “one size fits all “approach to digital delivery, which invariably involves agile and DevOps in one form or another. You can understand the logic. Agile development methodologies are proven to be a more efficient, productive way of working than traditional methodologies like waterfall. Plus the continuous delivery element of DevOps is really compelling for financial institutions, particularly in helping to reduce risk. However, the fact remains that agile and DevOps are just not suited to every project and there are certain circumstances where organisations need to steer well clear. For example, if an organisation is going through a big infrastructure change and … Read More

Keeping the lights on in trade surveillance

By Nick Gordon | March 8, 2017 | Categories: Blog | Tags: , , , ,

Following the deadline for adhering to Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) back in July last year, you couldn’t have blamed European banks for putting a tick in the box, breathing a sigh of relief and turning their attention to the next regulatory hurdle. But they’d be wrong. Once the initial implementation is over with, things don’t just stop there. Surveillance is a 24/7 activity and financial firms continue to evolve and change, as do the regulations. As a result, legal and compliance teams cannot sit back and relax once they have implemented a surveillance system – new requirements constantly emerge and have to be programmed into the everyday running of the business. The introduction of the Senior Managers’ Regime (SMR) in March last year has added a new dimension to business as usual (BAU). It means the threat of conviction amongst the senior team for breaching trade surveillance regulation has grown … Read More

Transforming the Multi Channel Organisation – who’s up for the challenge?

By Anthony O'Hara | January 26, 2017 | Categories: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Financial firms have not found the transition to multi channel an easy one. The face of banking and insurance has changed beyond all recognition in the last ten years, with the rapid growth of digital channels. And many financial institutions have struggled to keep pace with integrating social media and web channels into their business models. According to research from Eptica, in their study of the ‘multi channel experience,’ banks and insurers, unlike their compadres in retail, lag behind in responding to customers using online and email channels. Providing a high quality customer experience in a multi channel environment doesn’t come easy. A big obstacle to their adaptation to the multi channel environment is the legacy system issue. Due to the acquisitive nature of the industry back in the 80s, 90s and noughties, most financial firms are built on disparate systems and unconnected networks. As a result, organisations have no … Read More

Life post Brexit is uncertain for universities – how can change help them stay competitive?

By Danie Jamieson | December 2, 2016 | Categories: Blog | Tags: , , , , , ,

Since the day in 2010 when the coalition effectively tripled university fees, higher educational establishments have faced a changing landscape in which they have to try and stay competitive. And in the post Brexit environment, factors such as maintaining the flow of international students’ fees, managing cuts in EU funding and a focus on rationalisation have put pressures on costs. Add to this, meeting the needs of future students and the rapid pace of technological change, and you have a complex set of priorities. Many universities have captured a vision for the future and set it out in a clear strategy. At the most fundamental level this focuses on the student experience and delivering a more sustainable and integrated service for decades to come. Whatever the change programme might be, managing it successfully to become a better organisation is critical. There are no silver bullets, but there are certain steps … Read More

Tech glitch causes Barclays to double charge customers

By Luke Barfield | November 17, 2016 | Categories: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Barclays suffered a technical glitch recently, when a number of its current account customers were charged twice on debit card transactions. The bank was keen to point out it was working to fix the problem and assured its customers that cash balances of accounts that had been affected by the duplicate charge would be reimbursed. So another day, another banking tech glitch. We see these all the time, right? So what do we think was the reason? And why did Barclays’ customers fall foul of a system error again? Well it seems that Barclays was doing some pre-planned maintenance work to its systems last weekend, in preparation for the end of British Summer Time and turning the clocks back an hour. In addition to having payments deducted twice from their accounts, the technical glitch resulted in customers not being able to access online banking or use their debit cards. The … Read More

British Airways’ technology nightmare

By Jane Such | September 27, 2016 | Categories: Blog | Tags: , ,

“What happens when there are holes in the testing strategy” British Airways hits the headlines again last week for all the wrong reasons. In a bid to update its check-in system, the company has fallen victim to glitches. The upshot was long queues, disgruntled customers – particularly the ones left stranded on runways – and social media going into a complaining frenzy, doing the reputation of the “world’s favourite airline” no favours at all. BA’s staff had to resort to hand writing boarding passes as the system left them unable to check in passengers in the usual way. And it’s not the first time it has happened. BA has suffered a number of incidents related to technology failure, which has affected passengers, airports and its employees. So what’s the issue with BA? And why does it still keep having these check-in tech failures? Well, you could muse all day as … Read More