You may have seen some publicity recently how a megazillion people in the UK, especially London, all work in the FinTech sector. This publicity stems from some research commissioned by London Technology Week, a series of events taking place in London around FinTech.
The events range the full spectrum of FinTech technologies, and as a result we have clients travelling from the US over to London for LTW (London Technology Week). Most of the events are free, and even the charging ones were under £20.
I’ll be attending a few events with some colleagues going to events which clashed. I’m also speaking at Tuesday’s CSFI round table on crypto-currencies, which I think is just a coincidence that it happens to fall during LTW.
The first event of LTW15, or the headline event as it was known, was at Goldman Sachs called “Goldman Sachs Engineers – Solutions to Complex Problems at Scale”. Here are some brief notes. My apologies for speed over brevity – there will be a lot to cover this week.
Since the week before Easter I’ve been extremely busy – there was the holiday period, followed by a big family celebration, and then last Friday I managed to fall off my bicycle and break some fingers. In short… it’s been quite hectic.
During the family celebration I heard a brilliant quote from a friend, Yehuda, an IT Solution Architect, who had travelled from Israel to join us for a week. We were discussing how IT projects have become either prescriptive (detailed requirements) or business focussed (with high level requirements and leaving the solution to the supplier partner). He tells this to all his customers:
Tell me either what you want to do, or how to do it, but if you tell me both – go and do it yourself.
As the Principal Sponsors of Payments International 2015 event, we had a slot to speak on the closing afternoon (I’m never sure if the last afternoon – especially a Friday afternoon – is a blessing or a curse).
One of our biggest clients in the payments industry, Worldpay, offered to join us at the event, so Nick Telford-Reed, their Director of Technology Innovation, and I both spoke on stage.
One thing I experienced over the last fortnight is that we take cloud services for granted. When I upgraded my work laptop to Windows 10, I lost a few days worth of web pages stored in OneTab because I assumed the bookmarks were saved in the cloud – my apologies.
When we present our innovation process or new ideas for clients, one of the most common first questions is “How do you think like that?”
This applies to all companies, from small start-ups to very large financial services organisations.
When the question is asked, the rest of the audience often pick up their pens as though we’re going to answer with a poignant, silver bullet answer. But as soon as we do answer, you can see the disappointment in everyone’s eyes.
I’m sorry, but the answer is much simpler than they expected.
2014 has been another interesting year in the digital world. The end of a terrible recession has forced most companies to place digital at the heart of their strategy. #Fintech has become a recognised term for banks, insurance companies and other financial services organisations trying to update their systems to become ‘digital‘.