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  • Blog Post: A Separate Point of View

    The technology industry has become a battle ground for patent disputes. Some have questioned their value. But Apple’s recent patent victory against Samsung gives a really clear message on the importance of a separate point of view. But have some features become so generic, such as pinch-to-zoom...
  • Blog Post: How does Hadoop fit into the Analytical Enterprise?

    As described in a previous post, an Analytical Enterprise is one that leverages data to its advantage. This includes the hard-to-tame “Big Data”, which is too awkward to be managed by traditional means. To support this mining of Big Data, a slew of new technologies has arisen. The most...
  • Blog Post: Revisting the Analytical Enterprise

    The way banks have competed in the past has been on the basis of assets – how many branches, products, how many countries they operate in – even how big they are. But the rules of the game have changed. These capabilities are less important today. What matters more is how banks manage information...
  • Blog Post: Coming Out of Left Field

    Baseball is the arguably the most hallowed game in America. Trying to redefine baseball is almost like trying to redesign the American flag. It’s practically sacrosanct. Since the 19 th century, a player’s performance has been determined by the insider opinions of players, managers, coaches...
  • Blog Post: The Bank Branch of the Future – Microsoft at BAI 2011

    Bankers at BAI this year seem to agree that bricks and mortar banking is here to stay, despite the growth in digital channels. But the role of the branch would be very different and more enabled by technology. What the bank branch of the future might look like is very much the theme of the Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Banking at the Crossroads

    History tells us there are certain watershed moments. Banking is going through such a phase. After decades of building systems around products, the industry must now build technology around customers, and, in particular customer relationships. Also, the conversation with customers is changing from complex...
  • Blog Post: Living on the Edge of Exponential Change

    Our future looks grim. The economic situation is dire with little relief in sight. But short term gloom conceals deeper shifts in an ever-changing environment. The future may be much brighter than it seems. There have been many turning points throughout history when breakthroughs in technology brought...
  • Blog Post: Netflix and the Future of Banking

    Banking moguls looking to extract more value from their businesses might take a leaf out of the media industry. Netflix is a huge media success. But it is far from unique. The media industry has long made more money through aggregating and distributing content than by creating it. Distributors provide...
  • Blog Post: Reflections on SIFMA 2011

    Now that SIFMA 2011 is behind us, let’s take a moment to look back on a conference whose conversations and content mirrored the extremes of our post-crisis world. This year the Leaders Forum explored two main topics – Dodd Frank implementation and the use and impact of social media...
  • Blog Post: Next Generation Risk Management in the New Age of Structured Products

    Even before the financial crisis, financial firms struggled to get their enterprise risk act together. Then as now, structured products added a whole new layer of complexity. The problem is how to get on top of the data. Without the right data, risk management, in today’s high frequency markets...
  • Blog Post: Designing a Viral Product – a fresh approach to innovation

    Viral marketing is hot right now. In the new world of social networking, a digital outreach strategy is essential. But it may be more useful to develop products that are intrinsically viral. According to a recent HBR article adding a “share” button to a product can increase peer-to-peer influence...
  • Blog Post: Three Ways to Analyse Social and Market Data - Recreating the Ear of the Markets Part II

    Once market prices hit the screen or populate a spreadsheet they are already history. In fact markets move on sentiment fed by stories that can bubble up from almost anywhere. David Cox posed the question: What if we could track the evolution of stories – the noise from other pits – before...
  • Blog Post: The Bloomberg Debate on Private Clouds

    How are financial institutions adopting Cloud technology? Are private clouds more appropriate for the industry, and if so what benefits do they bring to organisations? On Tuesday I participated in a very interesting panel on Private Clouds at the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit , mediated by...
  • Blog Post: Regulatory Transparency and Data Best Practices

    New rules are being written, demanding greater reporting from financial institutions to their respective regulators, and more rigorous stress testing for systemic players. To satisfy both these constraints, banks will need to store more data (both real-time and historic) in a consumable and accessible...
  • Blog Post: Decrypting Financial Reform: The Three Dimensions of Transparency

    The word “data” is used and abused when it comes to Finance and IT – but with new regulations the need for transparency is bringing data strategies to the top of every organisation’s priority list. This series of blogs will examine the new demands, and give examples of how technology...
  • Blog Post: Eliminating the Fog of Markets

    April 2011 marks the 150 th anniversary of the outbreak of the American Civil War, the bloodiest military engagement in U.S. history. Past wars had been fought with muskets and fixed formations. But the technology of war had moved on by the 1860s. Despite this, Civil War officers continued to launch...
  • Blog Post: The New Middle Ground in Banking

    New York used to be famous for its luncheon clubs. Professional New Yorkers would take time midday to combine a fine meal with a networking experience followed by a slow afternoon and an early retreat to the suburbs. Today our days are more pressured. A quick sandwich is often the best we can muster...
  • Blog Post: Public Service or Private Enterprise? Banks and the risks they ought not take

    In the aftermath of the financial crisis, much has been written on the increasing risks banks took to grow profits, and the collateral damage that was caused. Hard questions have been raised on the true role of banks within the economy. Are they operating a public service - enabling the efficient flow...
  • Blog Post: Innovation and Collaboration – managing the complexity of ecosystems

    'Innovation' and 'collaboration' are terms that are used almost synonymously these days as more corporations and financial institutions come to recognize the growing power and importance of ecosystems. The automotive industry has been familiar with this model for decades, but has often struggled to...
  • Blog Post: The Analytic Enterprise

    Why do some banks perform so much better than others? There are many factors, but a lot has to do with the way they manage, harvest, analyze and disseminate information. Banks need information more than ever, in particular customer information. As a result, there has been a huge growth in the demand...
  • Blog Post: The Growing Power of Visualization – the next phase of markets

    Too much information and too little time to absorb it - that's the dilemma of the financial markets today. We have more data than we can possibly absorb: spreadsheets with tens of columns and thousands of rows; news headlines streaming faster than the human eye can read....... Yet the data tsunami...
  • Blog Post: A Chef’s Guide to Innovation

    Banking has taken a leaf out of many industries, particularly the hospitality industry but cooking? Yet for an industry struggling with recovery, demanding customers and years of increased regulation, the time may be ripe for some fresh inspiration. Aliena, Grant Achatz's restaurant in Chicago isn...
  • Blog Post: Mastering Innovation in a World of Complexity

    A 1994 ground breaking paper on product development suggested that there were two kinds of product development - a traditional analytical one moving through defined stages from the abstract to the specific as a problem solving process and another based on interpretive and continuous dialogue. [i] ...
  • Blog Post: Digital Signature in the Branch of the Future

    We are all familiar with digital signature in the retail environment, even in insurance. A number of leading banks have begun to adopt the process, but in financial services the technology of digital signature is still in its infancy. Whether we are opening a bank or brokerage account or applying...
  • Blog Post: Mad Money

    Thanks to the financial crisis there has been a flood of new books on finance. Most have focused on the drama itself or on the lengthy steps leading up to it. But few have raised the bigger issue is our financial system itself the problem. That's the question Chris Whalen poses in his new book...
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