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Financial Services Blog Series: A Journey to World Class IT Outsourcing

William Edwards Deming (1900-1993) is widely acknowledged as the leading thinker in the field of quality. He was a statistician and business consultant who is well known for his “14 Points for Management”. He used to say that ‘management is prediction,’ by which he meant that every decision is also a prediction about the future. The rate of change continues to increase, and as it does the business environment becomes ever more complex. Amidst this complex and uncertain environment, business still has to accomplish something – by getting work done. And getting work done is increasingly outsourced to 3rd parties. In 2017, the global ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Mergers and Acquisitions – Managing Risk and Reducing Costs Through Software Disentanglement.

Kin Hubbard, a humorist and journalist who lived 100 years ago once said “the safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket”. Clearly views are different today. The value of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. financial-services sector alone more than doubled to a whopping $196.5 billion in 2018 from $82.3 billion in 2017. According to a report by White & Case, Financial Institutions M&A Sector 2019 Trends, there are possibilities of mega deals in Europe and that Wall Street behemoths may start flexing their expansion muscles. And when that materializes, a Stock Purchase Agreement (SPA) is the result that ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Digital Transformation – Nothing to Lose, But a Fortune to Gain.

  In 1847, a young doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis was working in a maternity ward where he had discovered that a regime of hand washing could dramatically lower the incidence of childbed fever. Unfortunately, the medical establishment rejected his ideas and the ‘germ theory of disease’ didn't take hold until decades later. The phenomenon is now known as the “Semmelweis reflex”, which is the tendency for people to reject new knowledge that contradicts established beliefs. For Financial Services, “Winter is coming” in terms of Digital Disruption by way of FinTech companies invading their space. What is Digital Transformation?  Digital ...

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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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