Hello everyone and welcome to my latest blog. I was sitting in the Kent sunshine over a long bank holiday weekend and began to ruefully reflect upon some of the latest news in the media .The horrific events in Manchester were still at the forefront of everybody’s thoughts and with the threat of further events still at a critical level, as I was planning to make my way to the rugby final at Twickenham in the afternoon. A belated birthday present from my Sons! However things move quickly and the UK general election campaign began in earnest again.

 I watched the two leaders of our main parties in live interview debates. Not surprisingly the questions turned to security and policing –especially numbers and budgets. In adroit political fashion both expertly sidestepped the question to talk instead about our changing world –driven by technology and the need to adapt to meet the changes that cyber security and cybercrime bring about. Clearly this is now a hot political topic and right at the top of both the main political parties’ manifestos.

On the same weekend, we have British Airways system going down worldwide over a busy bank holiday weekend. Apparently a back-up or contingency failed and amidst calls for the CEO to resign it was blamed by many on staff cuts of key personnel and outsourcing to India. It made me reflect on where we are today as we go about our often mission-critical businesses. There is a danger that technology is evolving at a pace that outstrips our solutions and our reliance upon our critical business partner’s .What was fit for purpose even a short time ago may not be fit for purpose today or in the future. Let’s break it down slightly –if I look peripherally at my treasury what is key to me? My world is made up of an integration of Banks, Accounting Systems and Treasury System primarily. Let’s look at Banks first –their core competency is transaction banking, foreign exchange, liquidity and debt solutions. Should I expect them to provide multiple bank reporting capabilities or maintain multiple file formats-no?

Similarly the core competency of my TMS system is treasury, transaction and risk analysis –again not to integrate my working environment. It is dangerous to assume that “one size fits all”, and that a legacy solution –albeit relatively new is fit for current purpose. It is also interesting to look at our relationship suppliers in terms of core competencies. Do you get the best from them, or are they over reaching in terms of the overall integrated solution?  Clearly dual databases , back-up, contingency , recovery, security , open architecture , file format dependency , experience , knowledge –are all very relevant to BA  and their customers after recent events. A  day does not go by when we do not hear about cyber security or cyber policing and clearly it is highly topical for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn as we head to an early June election.

So I think I should watch less news and political commentary and resolve to get out more. The rugby at Twickenham was a great match and a peaceful event for 80,000 people.  It is interesting though that the speed of the technology revolution we are living in can seem to make some of our solutions look legacy very quickly if we do not “sense check” whether everything is still fit for purpose. We are increasingly moving into a real-time, 24/7 environment where use of data and how we use it will be of primary importance.

Innovation is everybody’s buzzword and organisations are keen to demonstrate their innovation prowess but if you look up the definition of innovation, it is not invention. In its simplest form it is about fixing problems. Ask yourself –on that basis, do your key relationship providers still innovate? Do they fix your problems as part of their innovation and solution?