Banking 24/7

10 Feb

In this blog & in an attempt to highlight my believe that IS frameworks should be more Industry specific, I will focus here on a particular industry which I feel demonstrates the viability of a ranking system of importance (as mentioned in my first blog- Context is King) when constructing a framework which will ensure the provision of outputs of high quality from the Information System.

In this age of technology, the efficiency & speed of an Information System is most likely a measure of quality for most organisations seeking to compete. These expectations are largely due to the amazing advances there have been in technology & the huge amounts of capital being invested by organisations in Information Systems. However it is accepted that the main aim of an Information System is to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of a process. The term ‘Real Time’ has entered the fold, particularly in the banking industry & also in the provision of Business Intelligence applications.

Internet Banking in particular could not function without real time updating of data, consider the implications of a delay in that information system, the chaos that could be caused if it was possible to withdraw cash from an ATM & due to a delay on the system that amended balance would not be recorded instantaneously & therefore the transaction could be attempted over & over before the system recognises that the account is in fact empty. It would be unfathomable that due to delays in processing transactions that billions could be lost.

But then of course data security would also be of huge concern, the loss of a customers’ data or ease of hack-ability to the sensitive information contained in an Information System would also be disastrous. We saw this with the Ulster Bank fiasco, what was a technical glitch triggered by a software upgrade has cost the bank millions & inconvenienced thousands of customers, the issue might have been an IT problem but it had an immediate effect on the IS, the information was now unreliable and therefore unusable.

This incident highlights the emphasis which must be placed on ensuring that the quality of what is seen as the more important elements of the information system are maintained at all cost and its seems logical that directing resources into achieving this will affect the quality of other elements of the IS such as ease of use which could be deemed less important due to its’ overall impact on the organisation.

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