Friday, 19 June 2015

NatWest’s latest glitch is a perfect metaphor of problems facing UK banks

From The Telegraph -

“Last week Bloomberg published a superb article (although, at 38,000 words long, you could more accurately describe it as a book) about computer source code. This may be a subject that you – like me – have assiduously chosen to avoid. Well, more fool us, according to Bloomberg.

The premise of the article/essay/thesis is this: business executives should, regardless of their specific role, have at least a rough idea of how computers, websites and IT systems work. If you don’t, your ignorance will be used against you.

As Paul Ford, the author of the article, puts it: “For your entire working memory, some internet thing has come along every two years and suddenly hundreds of thousands of dollars (inevitably millions) must be poured into amorphous projects with variable deadlines … no matter how tightly you clutch the purse strings, software finds a way to pry open your fingers.”

In no other industry does this ring truer – does technology burn more cash and more frequently go haywire – than banking. Exhibit A: the Royal Bank of Scotland, whose gremlins are particular pernicious critters.”

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