As 21st century’s technology get cheaper, more powerful and more flexible, it is looking ever more likely that many of the traditional professional services will no longer need to be provided by actual humans. Automation services, building on the combined forces of big data, cloud technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are now prime to become the next big bang. Current solutions range from business intelligence and data processing to payroll assistance and cost analytics (insert link to s4it blog). Big players are already on the scene: Last October, KPMG and PwC both announced their first forays in the automation field, with KPMG introducing the KPMG Enterprise investment and Pwc launching their MyFinancePartner portal. With more products to be introduced later this year, we expect to see major disruptions in the market landscape very soon. Read More
The race for real-time digital interaction in financial service is really heating up. After the 100% digital “online-first” banks of Fidor AG and Atom Bank, we are now seeing the first ever “mobile-first” bank, or more accurately a “smartphone bank”. Number26, a 2 years-old start-up from Germany who in April raised their first significant round of VC fund from Valar Ventures (10 million Euros), is the first to coin the term, and is promising to completely change the usual banking experience with current accounts. Read More
We have previously blogged about the effect of disruptive technologies on the banking industry. As we speak there is an ongoing battle to determine the future of banking as an industry. Today’s news is densely populated with comments about company’s developing mobile payment solutions and alternative methods to borrowing money. Speculation has arisen as to how companies like the tech giant Alibaba might cooperate or even challenge financial institutions. FinTech startups are getting ever increasing funding and support in the UK. With the introduction of new technologies, it would appear as if the race to find the next financial success story has begun. However a question arises: does this highly competitive market reflect the future of banking? Read More
There are many ways to deal with ineffective and inefficient process. You can create workarounds. You can bubble-wrap it with additional processes as a form of assurance. You can always do nothing, especially if you don’t care enough about the results at stake. And sometimes – if you are serious about long-term value of the process – you can fix the root cause itself.
cibsys has recently conducted a process efficiency review for one of our clients. Within that assessment, weidentifiedactivities in the operational process that were a form of assurance rather than value-adding activities. Effort-intensive manual intervention was used to assure that system errors were caught before appearing to customers. Such manual intervention, of course, did not address the root cause of the problem. Neither did it guarantee timely and appropriate fixes. Read More
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.
When we think of this day in 2001, everyone’s mind naturally turns to the devastation caused across the world. A day that caused irreplaceable amounts of human loss; and on it’s 12th anniversary I’m reminded of the effect the disaster took in wider terms. When I remember the days of trauma that followed I also remember our struggles to support the business and keep it running. Our biggest challenge was Diesel – but what does that have to do with IT?
In an emergency the data centre will run on backup power from diesel generators – it will last a day. Most business people will not even be aware of this kind of fail-over; in the worst case the data centre will shut down. Planning for orderly shut down (see our previous blog) is an essential part of BCP in the real world. In practice, catastrophic failure is unusual, there is often a long protracted disaster in the making.
Inspired by recent projects being undertaken by cibsys, I started thinking about some war stories I have heard through the years. The following blog post looks at an example of what could and does go wrong if you don’t ask important questions about IT financials.
The outline of the story was to resolve an IT budget crisis, where the COO was forecasting 10% over, dealing with figures in excess of ten million. In other words, there was a pressing need for fast remedial action to prevent disaster. The regional CIO was a brilliant technical lead with fantastic ideas, who delivered amazing software surrounded by like-minded technical staff. The one lonely voice in his management team who was screaming to be heard was his business manager who could see the pending crisis of budget and funding but was not being listened to. The reality was that the forecast was way off, there was no real spend tracking and that the ledgers actuals were so far behind the reality of spend that no one really knew what was being spent and where the money was going. There was dire need for proper departmental financial controls and proper forecasting in addition to the basic ones in finance department.
Are you using you IT strategy to set your user behaviour? Or are they setting yours?
Recent surveys suggest that business strategy and success is increasingly being underpinned by a successful IT strategy. I have suggested many times on this blog ways and means to achieve an effective understanding of an IT strategy and landscape, but how do you assure your IT strategy is aligned to your business strategy?