Jesper Steiness: The ABC of Technology after Covid-19
Cloud native technology is a business enabler, says Jesper Steiness, who thinks that the Covid-19 crisis will lead to positive technological progress in the financial world.
Life after Covid-19
A positive aspect of this health crisis is that it has enabled the entire world to change the future for the next generation. Many companies now realise that technology potentially makes it possible for staff to work remotely and, more specifically, from home with very few difficulties, as long as they manage to maintain the same levels of security, as offered within normal business premises. On some fronts, we are not there just yet; as an example in Switzerland, some banks have had to dramatically reduce their operations, due to the lack of laptops and because taking office computers home, simply did not work. Most of todays’ BCP (Business Continuity Planning) focus on working from another office buildings, not from the living rooms of employees. I foresee this to change dramatically over the coming years, so in the future we will see a significant increase in employees being able to work remotely.
Cloud-Native vs Cloud-Enabled
To keep pace with today’s fast-changing world, decision-makers at companies of all sizes need to do two things; firstly, take full ownership of technology issues, by auditing their systems set-up themselves, reviewing plan A and plan B, and setting up technology training for employees. During this ongoing crisis, many business leaders and owners have realised that what they thought was state-of-the-art technology, is actually very old technology, which might have been “cloud-enabled”. However, only cloud-native technology can be updated in what is almost real-time and only cloud-native technology can deliver the same level of security and robustness, regardless of the device on which it is used. Secondly, decision-makers need to invest in corporate culture, making sure that it is embraced by employees that can move around and still maintain the same level of efficiency, including full IT security, of course.
Technology is a formidable business enabler. Every line of code should relieve employees of useless tasks and create value for customers. But when it comes to keeping up with today’s constant changes, promoting an agile culture is key. Financial institutions used to focus on three-year cycles: analysing the situation for twelve months, planning everything during the following year and delivering in the third year, when everything went to plan. Nowadays, an agile culture makes it possible to dramatically shorten this cycle. Once a potential improvement is identified, such suggestions are shared with the solution provider, who will work with clients to decide whether or not to implement respective changes (or parts thereof). Sometimes the coding phase only takes a few days, enabling clients to see the new functionalities shortly after. This contrasts strongly with the all too common situation, where multinationals are forced to carry out pure technological upgrades, costing them millions of dollars, all without gaining any additional usable functionalities; the price paid does nothing more than keep old technology running in today’s world, and it takes valuable time away from already very busy employees.