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
When large businesses suffer major problems related to information technology, the bad news often hits the headlines, usually because a lot of money has been spent.
One example in the past few weeks is the cancellation of the BBC’s £100 million Digital Media Initiative, which was intended to transform the way staff developed, used and shared…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on June 27, 2013 at 4:29 — 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
As 2012 draws to a close, businesses of all kinds, in all parts of the world, continue to suffer ‘data flow disasters’.
Here at OBASHI, “data flow disaster” is the term we use for an event where a flow of data is interrupted or compromised, so that there is a negative impact on those who use or interact with that flow of data.
Here are a few examples of such ‘disasters'. In no particular order:
UK - Prior to the 2012 Olympics, the…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on December 21, 2012 at 8:02 — No Comments
“Assets will always fail at some point, and with any asset failure there is a chain of consequential loss which is triggered by an originating event.”
Last year, I discussed the vulnerability of the modern city to interruptions in the various critical supply flows that keep it going.
When key flows – water, electricity, natural gas or sewage – are…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on November 22, 2012 at 3:42 — No Comments
One of the most famous works of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, is “To a Mouse”.
During 1785, on a bleak winter’s day, Burns addressed a field mouse whose home he accidentally turned up with his plough.
In the poem, the bard praises the ‘foresight’ of the mouse in building the ‘cozie’ nest in advance of the freezing weather, while there was still good grass to do so.
But, ultimately, one of Burns’ conclusions is that, although we can…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on November 1, 2012 at 6:30 — 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
Legal Risks on the Radar, is an annual survey, published in the U.S. by Corporate Board Member and FTI Consulting.
The 2012 report researches attitudes to current legal issues among ‘two critical governance groups’: public company directors and corporate general counsel (GC).
Amongst other things, the survey finds that the growth of digital business, and connectivity, has caused many in these groups to recognise the increasing importance of understanding the…Continue
Added by Paul Wallis on October 5, 2012 at 4:27 — 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
“Data flow disaster” is the term we use here at OBASHI for an event where 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 data.
During what has been an extraordinary few weeks for major IT problems, there have been numerous such events, around the world and across many business sectors.
Here are a few examples, in no particular order:
Added by Fergus Cloughley on August 2, 2012 at 7:30 — 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
“Technology Risk Management Guidelines”, is a research paper published by The Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The objective of the guidelines is, “to promote the adoption of sound processes in managing technology risks and the implementation of security practices”, in regulated financial institutions.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on June 29, 2012 at 3:53 — No Comments
As I walked away from the bank HQ 6 years ago, Han Solo’s famous Star Wars quote came to mind,
“I got a bad feeling about this”
During the meeting I’d just attended, a manager from the bank had explained how some transactions with other financial institutions occurred. The transactions were very valuable, worth millions of pounds, and happened regularly. To paraphrase,
“...basically, traders transact deals, each using their own…
Added by Paul Wallis on June 14, 2012 at 5:04 — 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