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Financial Services Blog Series: Cyber Security – The Biggest Risk Isn’t the Loss Itself, But the Reputation

Some of you may remember the name Ray Tomlinson.  If you’ve never heard of him or can’t recall the name, suffice it to say that he’s had a profound impact on your life.  Recently deceased, he is the programmer credited to have invented ‘email’ back in 1971 when he sent an email to himself from one computer to another traveling a network known as ARPANET. Not surprisingly, given Tomlinson invented email, he is also the person who turned the world’s first computer virus “Creeper” into a self-replicating program and then developed a reactionary antivirus program called “Reaper” to delete it.  This would prove to be just the first of many ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Enemy at the Gate

What can be done to maximize your operations strategy. In the mid-1700s, Alexander Webster and Robert Wallace, two ministers of the Church of Scotland caused a major change that would alter the life insurance landscape forever. The plan they devised would invest the revenue from policy premiums and use the income generated from those investments to payout death benefit claims to the families of the insured. Much of the success of the newly-created fund can be credited to Wallace and Webster’s precise use of actuarial science such as understanding mortality rates of Scottish clergymen, along with life expectancies of the ministers’ wife and ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Optimizing IT Spend in Banks to Improve Efficiency Ratio and Fund Innovation

It was just a few years ago when a leading global consulting firm noted in their financial services outlook, that the “industry would switch gears from defensive compliance remediation to a proactive search for revenue growth and further cost reduction.” As topline growth stayed modest over the years, banks focused mostly on operational efficiencies to drive financial performance improvements. As an example, they looked for scale efficiencies through rationalizing their branch networks with only mixed results.  Banks are very complex organizations, but as IT and Finance collaborate more to redefine their role and value, optimizing IT cost as ...

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Financial Services CFO Nightmare: The Mainframe That Ate My P&L

Back in March 1991, Stewart Alsop, a venture-capitalist and editor of InfoWorld said, “I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on March 15th, 1996”. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, so we know now, this could not be further from the truth. The mainframe is not only ‘not’ a dinosaur, it may be the single most important technology in the financial services industry, running almost every large Bank and Insurance Company’s back end system in the world.  Still today, seemingly only the mainframe can handle the performance requirements & reliability demands of these challenging operating environments and support the sheer volume of ...

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