At Reply, we support, guide and advise our clients in their Operational Resilience to Operational Excellence journey through our deep industry experience, leading strategic partnerships and proven framework.
In my latest blog I reflect on Yuval Noah Harari's celebrated book, Homo Deus, delving into Harari’s fresh angle on the role of data in our day-to-day life. As I was contemplating Harari's spellbinding book it occurred to me that Dataism is, to a large extent, already the religion of the financial services industry.
This is Part 5 of our ten-legged journey to explore how the Cloud can enable productivity, innovation, and scalability in financial services.
The EBA has published a consultation paper, seeking industry feedback on proposed changes to MREL requirements. Their intent is to better approximate the capital requirements & capital buffers inputs into the MREL calculation for firms whose banking groups are different from their resolution groups.
The Bank of England has published two key documents in relation to the banking landscape in the UK for non-systemic banks. These proposals are a step in the right direction, but do they go far enough?
This is Part 4 of our ten-legged journey to explore how the Cloud can enable productivity, innovation, and scalability in financial services.
This is Part 3 of our ten-legged journey to explore how the Cloud can enable productivity, innovation, and scalability in financial services.
Jules Verne authored the novel Around the World in Eighty Days, Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours in its native French, which was published serially in 1872. It would presumptuous of me to rescript the story of the unflappable Phileas Fogg’s trip around the world, but allow me to take you on a ten-legged journey to explore how the Cloud can enable productivity, innovation, and scalability in financial services.
Market conditions are forcing financial institutions to find new models for growth. One of the largest identified gaps for growth is the underserved and overlooked mass affluent segment.
Data is centre stage once again. It effectively triggered the lockdowns, it is now easing them and it will be a key aspect of Covid-19 exit and strategies across the world. The UK government, for instance, has consistently said that it is ‘following the science’, while the scientists are trying to follow that data.
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of co-authoring a short article on the adoption of the Cloud in Financial Services with Professor Nelson Phillips of the Imperial College Business School. We conducted several interviews with senior leaders in financial services about their experiences of moving to the Cloud. It turned out to be such a captivating journey that Nelson and I are planning to continue along this path and turn it into a much more comprehensive piece of research.
With Covid-19 wreaking havoc on business and the economy, the only ideal solution is to respect Government guidelines while continuing business as usual — from home. The problem is, how can an organisation, in particular a financial institution, give hundreds or thousands of employees secure access to the documents and applications required to work from home without disruption to service?
If, like me, you have to interact with IT —and technology is vital for you or your clients — this excellent novel will enlighten your day-to-day work. The Phoenix Project was first published in 2013 and, in the fast-moving world of technology, one could view this book as ‘outdated.’ But no. The way it articulates the value of DevOps for organisations remains insightful. It remains useful. And it remains worth your attention. Of particular value is the presentation of the Three Ways — the principles from which all observed DevOps behaviours are derived.
It’s all anyone is talking about and, whilst I really wanted to write about something lighter, I was dragged back to the Reply Risk & Regulatory Academy, which has had the honour to run courses in Cambridge for many years. This led me to an incredible report published by the University there...
There is something peculiar in the book released last January by the Bank for International Settlement and Banque de France, The Green Swan. The book builds on the concept of ‘black swans’ first introduced by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in 2007, but this time the swan is green. Green swans (or climate black swans), the authors argue, are extreme financially disruptive events resulting from climate-related risks.
Few realise just how corrosive the effects of Money laundering and the financing of terrorism are on society. That’s why, when we have the opportunity to assist our clients with their Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) initiatives, I find it exciting and rewarding.
I had just finished reading Chad Orzel’s bestselling book ‘How to teach quantum physics to your dog’ last week when my colleagues presented what is perhaps one of the first concrete applications of ‘quantum-inspired’ computing in European banking. Before I turn to that, allow me to share a few words on Orzel’s book and how it got me to think about quantum computing in financial services…
On 28 January 2020, the European Central Bank (“ECB”) held a press conference in Frankfurt on the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process 2019 (“SREP 2019”). It highlighted a number of interesting developments in the Eurozone. Allow me to share with you my key take-aways regarding the first three based on his remarks and the Question and Answer session that ensued.
In this period of annual closing and maximum effort for all reporting teams, you will probably agree that there is one that is particularly daunting. I am of course talking about the Pillar 3 disclosures.
One of the main themes of Davos 2020 has been ‘climate and sustainability’. The World Economic Forum was most fascinating to me when it came to the clear divergence in thinking between financial institutions that want to cut polluters off from the financial system — and those that believe it is not the financial institution’s job to police the climate.
Board members, Executives, Chief Financial Officers and Heads of Regulatory Reporting have plenty to fear as regulatory reporting by financial institutions comes under increasing scrutiny from regulatory bodies.
Many start-ups or early stage business are often reluctant to hire specialist financial resource. This reluctance could hinder the successful development of the company.
Matt Stamp, partner at Acuity Advisors, recently joined us as a keynote speaker at our IoT Investor event ‘Seizing the IoT Opportunity’.
Before we start comparing, it’s worth highlighting that this is a bit of an “oranges & apples” thing because, technically speaking, the UK DPA (Data Protection Act) 1998 was enacted to bring British law into line with the 1995 EU DPD (Data Protection Directive, aka 95/46/EC) which is the one that is, now, being repealed and superseded by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, aka 2016/679) that was adopted in 2016.
Every business today is looking for ways to unlock the value of their data, connect disparate systems, increase efficiency, optimise the use of current IT while at the same time keeping the organisation secure. Why? Because competitive advantage, positive customer experience and a bulging bottom line are all dependent on it.
Technology is becoming increasingly flexible, mobile and connected- the evidence is probably either in your pocket or your hand.
Smart devices are now built around a huge number of modern applications, many of which are tied directly into business functions – in essence the line between consumer and business has blurred.
When creating a virtual machine in Azure, Microsoft provide a set of images for you to use that your virtual machines get built from. These include simple images such as Server 2012 r2 with nothing installed up to images with different operating systems and various pieces of software already installed, such as Ubuntu, CentOS and many third party applications. There are other reasons why you may want to use a custom image.
The public preview of Microsoft Flow was announced at the end of April and was showcased in a session at the recent Integrate 2016 summit in London. In this blog, Ed Loveridge demonstrates how to set up a simple Flow to send all tweets with a specific hashtag to a channel on a Slack team site.
During a recent BizTalk project, one of the customer requirements was that system tests were to be written using Specflow. Specflow is an open-source framework which allows automated tests to be defined as Behaviour Driven Design (BDD) style specifications. In this blog I will demonstrate how to install Specflow and outline the steps that were used throughout the project to create the tests.
"The best way to avoid failure is to fail constantly". Over the last few years, Netflix has been improving their resiliency with the help of the ‘Chaos Monkey’ and an ever expanding ‘Simian Army’. Nathan Cooper looks at the lessons that can be learned from their rather unorthodox automated testing approach.
There have been a number of new security enhancements recently to control and audit access to Azure SQL databases. These include Auditing, Dynamic Data Masking, Row-level Security, and Transparent Data Encryption. In this first part I give my assessment of auditing and dynamic data design and how likely I am to be using them.
Database management tools, such as SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) are mature products in daily use by database professionals around the world. This makes me wonder why Microsoft bothered producing their Silverlight-based Azure SQL Database Management Portal.
What I fundamentally need to achieve for HADR is a database system that is, as much as possible, always available ('online and accessible'), complete ('no data loss'), and accurate ('no data corruption'). For the purpose of this discussion, I am ignoring backup strategies on the assumption that they exist primarily to roll back databases to a previous known state.
The data mining tools in SSAS (multidimensional mode) have been available since SQL Server 2000, and the range of data mining algorithms that are bundled are generally considered to be sufficient for most requirements.
I had planned to review Row-level Security and Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), but support for TDE has not been announced yet (even though I can see the relevant system tables in V12 databases). So in this part I will just be giving you my assessment of row-level security.
Power BI is uniquely placed to help your organisation realise the benefits of self-service business intelligence (BI), whether you are starting from scratch or building on top of a traditional BI platform.
In this series of blog posts, Nicholas Revell will discuss how Power BI and related Microsoft technologies can help you to implement a successful self-service business intelligence (BI) strategy.
Owin is the new open source standard for building and hosting web applications, bringing huge improvements to web development both in terms of flexibility and developer productivity. This article will solve a particular problem that may be encountered when moving to Owin for applications using Microsoft's Unity dependency container.
Nino Crudele will be producing a series of articles about the latest and greatest in Microsoft technologies, some being directed to sales and management, others being more technically focussed towards the developer community.
Scaling out (or sharding) by adding more databases usually requires careful planning and provisioning to ensure even distribution of data. It also adds more administrative overhead, and increases the number of points of failure. In this respect, Azure SQL databases are the perfect candidates for sharding because they can be created or deleted on demand, provide near-zero administration, and have built-in fault tolerance.
During initial discussions on structuring a new TFS installation, there is a regular but surprising (to me) question why a dedicated machine should be configured to host builds. I shall explain why the build function should be separated from TFS.
Extending on a well documented walkthroughhere I thought I’d share some of the errors I came across while integrating BizTalk 2013 with SharePoint Online 2013.