To some extent, the FinTech movement is not necessarily an all-out revolution. Indeed many FinTech solutions bear marks of the traditional roots of retail banking. For instance in our last post we mentioned Peer-to-Peer (P2P) platforms and the shift towards frictionless transactions and disintermediation. While the former is undoubtedly a product of new technology advances, the latter is not at all novel. Effectively P2P platforms could be more accurately viewed as a transparent and frictionless version of the traditional financial intermediary model. Read More
For quite some time, innovation in banking was highly scrutinised and frowned upon. Fresh out of the big crisis, at first all that people could associate with the term was debt securitisation and risky investments. With regulation also tightened up (especially for incumbents), this seemingly created the notion that banking was to remain a stronghold from innovation and that disruptive waves from technology advances would not affect the industry as a whole. And yet, almost a decade later, that notion no longer holds true. FinTech innovators with solutions that tackle real customers’ needs whilst guaranteeing a top-notch user experience, are redefining how banking should work.
Premise: you are the CEO of a hot and well-funded start-up, in your early twenties to thirties. The press has started referring to your company as the next big break to watch. Sounds all good? Not quite. Investors are pushing fervently for more and more growth, but you are unsure whether the company can technically and operationally handle the expanded amount of service. You don’t know which business processes can stay relatively unchanged and which need to be upgraded. You can’t tell who in the firm is delivering good services and who isn’t. Worse still, time isn’t on your side. All of these quickly pile up while you are pushed to the edge of your nerve. Eventually you suffer from the “founder depression” syndrome *
Growth by default is the number one priority for start-ups. Understandably, the only reason why investors would want to put money into businesses with no collateral is capital gains. While the average investment’s required churn out is usually a reasonable 10-20% annual ROI, venture capitalists expect start-ups to grow at a substantially higher, and in some cases near impossible, rate. What this means for the young business is that operation will always have to be pushed towards a constant growth goal when many of their processes are not yet ready for the job.
In two completely different clients in two completely different sectors our consultants have seen on recent projects the same challenges. Both clients were actively seeking to improve both their offering to clients and the efficiency of the processing that supports them after the sale or contract. We saw the same issues despite very different products and very different business models and this lead us to think that this must be a common problem within many industries and businesses. Read More
It might not seem straightforward, but the benefits of having an up to date and accurate business process documentation are much more imperative than you may think. The need for a proper operational package can be driven by different organizational triggers and objectives. Some common scenarios include:
Regulatory compliance: Highly regulated industries (e.g. financial services) more than others require strict compliance in terms of documenting your business processes. This task then becomes mandatory and cannot be ignored – it’s not a “nice to have” process. Read More
IT Governance is no piece of cake. While there is no such thing as one-size governance, “over-governance” and “under-governance” are pretty easy to spot. The terrors of the former include redundant committees, attendees who show up because “it’s nice to know what’s going on,” and long paper trails that obstruct decision-making. The problems associated with the latter are arguably even uglier: failed audits, delayed projects, and political crises. As the CIO, you need to strike the right balance in setting up governance, and then walk the tightrope ever on.
Chris Ham, Managing Director of cibsys, has spoken in cooperation with John Holland at the Eleven Canterbury event ’New Technology Trends – Risks and Opportunities for Non-Executive Directors and Boards on the 20th of January at the Institute of Directors. Often Non-Executive Directors find themselves in the position to ask critical questions about unfamiliar topics and this event aimed to equip them with the necessary tools and a critical set of questions to be able to stand up to seasoned IT executives.
In the following, we have picked five interesting questions which you can use to “penetration test” your CIO with. For your convenience, we have added related blog articles below the questions.
We all know in boxing that you cannot hit below the belt as well as hit someone when they are on the canvas. Sadly, in the world of IT security and hackers there are no such rules. Watching the recent real world events in the banking world, we have seen a number of banks hit with cyber attacks in the run up to the Christmas period. Consumers relying on payments and being able to make purchases have been disrupted, dare I say, yet again. Poor old RBS group and especially NatWest seem to have taken the brunt of the hits in the past weeks (NatWest, Ulster Bank)