See things clearly
I used to think that we were good at designing systems. We would phase test them, user test them, stress test them and more, and eventually we would roll out the system and it would work. And life was good.
In his blog, “Bank systems are not safe (anymore)”, Chris Skinner reflects on the reliability of financial systems,
“...It used to…
Added by Paul Wallis on September 5, 2013 at 6:32 — No Comments
In addressing, “Cyber Security and Global Interdependence”, Dave Clemente of Chatham House discusses the ‘security implications emerging at the intersection of cyberspace and infrastructure’. One of his conclusions is that,
“Meeting these security challenges requires better shared understanding of what is critical between those who protect an organization and those who set its strategic…
Added by Paul Wallis on May 10, 2013 at 4:28 — No Comments
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the finance industry is working on a number of regulatory initiatives, including Solvency II, Basel III and Dodd-Frank.
Fundamentally, the aim of these various initiatives is to reduce risk, be it insolvency risk in the EU insurance companies, liquidity risk in banking, or systemic risk across the U.S / global financial sector.
One of the…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on March 27, 2013 at 6:35 — No Comments
On New Year’s Eve 2012, late afternoon, customers of three of the UK’s largest banks were unable to withdraw cash or use internet banking - some complaining that account balances were incorrectly showing ‘00.00’.
There can’t be many worse times for such a “glitch” to occur, and the (further) damage to those banks’ reputations must have been considerable. The financial cost was also considerable with, for example, Lloyds Bank setting aside £125 million to “compensate…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on February 14, 2013 at 2:39 — No Comments
During July we attended the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for the formation and launch of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Private Sector Preparatory Group.
The group was created by the FSB in response to a call from the leaders of the G20 countries to proceed with development of a, “unique identification system for parties to financial transactions.” […Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on January 24, 2013 at 3:35 — No Comments
The other day, a little behind the times, I watched the fourth of the series of ‘Die Hard’ movies.
Detective Lieutenant John McClane had his hands full yet again, battling devious cyber criminals in Washington D.C.
The bad guys set out to ultimately do a bit of electronic money pilfering, and as part of their cunning plan they disrupt some of the computer-reliant critical networks that typically support a modern city. By hacking into systems and interrupting…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on January 15, 2013 at 7:30 — No Comments
A point we make regularly here at OBASHI is that in today’s digital world, it is important to understand how data flows through and between businesses.
We occasionally blog about “data flow disasters” - events that occur when a flow of data is interrupted or compromised, so that there is a negative business impact on those who use or interact with that flow of…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on October 22, 2012 at 5:10 — No Comments
Over at the FSClub Blog, Chris Skinner summarises a discussion he had with a senior manager in finance about bank operations. He writes,
“...most firms struggle with enterprise management.
It is down to the very nature of fragmented structures, legacy systems, merged and acquired operations, that make the enterprise view hard.
Hard but achievable, so why is it not…
Added by Paul Wallis on September 14, 2012 at 9:24 — No Comments
One of the analogies I sometimes use to describe how understanding data flow is becoming ever more important in business, is that of the doctor understanding blood flow through the human body.
Medical professionals have a clear understanding of the vascular system, which carries blood, and how it interacts with other physiological systems, and the various parts of the body.
When a vascular disease occurs, most often, blood flow in the sufferer’s body is…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on August 30, 2012 at 5:00 — No Comments
There is an interesting juxtaposition between the brilliant success of NASA landing the Curiosity Rover on Mars last week, and the recent ‘software glitch’ at Knight Capital, which nearly wrecked the company.
NASA projects like Curiosity are highly complex and highly dangerous, yet, when we consider what they entail, failures are rare – why?
A key explanation is that good engineering practice is at the heart of space exploration projects.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on August 17, 2012 at 2:57 — No Comments
Three assertions that I hold to be true:
Added by Paul Wallis on July 18, 2012 at 4:00 — No Comments
The citizens of both California and Japan live in the shadow of ‘The Big One’ – earthquakes of catastrophic and devastating power that will inevitably occur, one day.
Before these events, numerous ‘foreshocks’ will take place, smaller earthquakes, associated in time and space with the ‘mainshock’.
Unless things change, the finance sector will one day suffer its own ‘Big One’ – a combination of events that will cause…
Added by Paul Wallis on July 4, 2012 at 4:18 — No Comments
“So how does that bridge work?”
A few years ago, one summer evening I was with my son and daughter, wandering the shore of the River Forth, the majestic road and rail bridges towering over us.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on May 30, 2012 at 5:17 — No Comments
In Chapter 3 of the OBASHI Methodology, we describe how understanding various flows has been critical throughout economic history:
1770s - mechanisation, factories, and canals – water
1830s - steam engines, coal, and iron railways – steam
1870s - steel and heavy engineering,…
Added by Fergus Cloughley on May 18, 2012 at 4:39 — No Comments
In his blog “Who’s accountable for IT failure?”, Mike Krigsman argues that there are three reasons that IT projects fail.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on April 19, 2012 at 2:30 — No Comments
A few years ago, some of the OBASHI team were on the road, driving to an important meeting.
The driver, who shall remain anonymous, was behind schedule, so when he hit the motorway he, ‘put the foot down’.
Unbeknown to him, a speed camera system was in place on some of the gantries above the road.
So, a week later, he was rather shocked to receive a speeding penalty notice through the post. The document contained a crystal clear snapshot of…Continue
In advance of the recent Davos conference of business executives, think tanks and leading politicians, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its “Global Risks 2012” report.
The report is a ‘call to action’ to global leaders. It seeks better coordination and collaboration of
“...public and private sector efforts to map, monitor, manage and mitigate global risks...” …
Added by Fergus Cloughley on February 10, 2012 at 3:05 — No Comments
In my last blog about data flow and the development of ‘autonomous vehicles’, I argued that,
“...while the dream of a safer, and more efficient, road transportation system is worthy, it won’t be happening on a large-scale anytime soon...
...computers aren’t yet intelligent enough to reliably make safe, on-time decisions about everyday driving…
Added by Paul Wallis on February 3, 2012 at 4:31 — No Comments
Over at Forbes.com, Dan Woods argues that,
“In every dimension, CIOs are facing an increased pace of change at the same time they are losing control over the computing environment. The number of assets they must manage is exploding. Consumerization, virtualization, cloud computing, software as a service, mobility are all increasing the complexity of the job of managing IT by orders of magnitude.”
In “The Coming Crisis of IT Management”, he…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on January 20, 2012 at 1:30 — No Comments
This is the fourth in an occasional series of “OBASHI likes” posts, where we highlight the ideas of others who have recently made us think about aspects of business and IT from an interesting perspective.
We may agree with all, some, or occasionally none of what each writer says, but whichever is the case, their ideas are thought provoking.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on January 13, 2012 at 11:19 — No Comments