Big issues for 2013

Tools


From an IT perspective, 2012 was as active as any year in recent memory.

You could say that about any year in the past decade, as the IT imperatives have steadily mounted. The difference these days is that IT savvy can make or break a bank. The days when software bugs were mere annoyances that could be quickly fixed are over. These days, ostensibly minor bugs can spell the difference between life and death. The best example perhaps was the Knight Capital trading software fiasco. The big market maker loaded some software onto its trading systems, which was necessary to interact with the NYSE's new Retail Liquidity Program, launched in August.

Unfortunately, the system ended up trading haywire thanks to a bug that multiplied stock trades by 1,000. The result was a $440 million loss in less than an hour, which  decimated the firm. Ultimately, the firm was forced onto the auction block, with Getco winning the rights to buy the company.

There were other miscues, such as the Nasdaq disaster with the Facebook IPO, the BATS disaster with its own IPO and so on. All of these events underscore the fact that firms remain technologically stagnant at their own peril. With that, I have to wonder what the big IT issues of 2013 will be.

Bank Systems & Technology offers an article that mentioned the following: Mobile banking, cyber security, consumer platform savvy, regulatory concerns, and Big Data-oriented issues. I can't argue with any of that, but I would add an item simple to the list: Quality assurance. QA is not exciting and there is little swagger in people who work in this capacity. But it is critical now that any software pushed into production be bug-free. The potential consequences are just too severe. Smart firms will invest in this area heavily. -Jim

Mexican