Fresh back from a summer holiday – well actually mine was a bit of a knackering washout really – here are some recommended web reading links.
I’ve also taken out a 12-week trial subscription to The Economist. Between reading one of the issues and a book at the moment, I can’t keep up. I struggle to reach half way through the magazine before another one arrives.
The quality, depth and opinion of the articles is top-notch. I’m not saying I always agree with the opinion, but the manner it’s conveyed is excellent.
For the past 3,000 years payments hasn’t been the most exciting industry, but in the last 5-10 years, there have been dozens of new entrants into the market.
It took 3,000 years to give us pretty much seven payment options: coins, banknotes, debit cards, Diners club, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. In the last ten years, we’ve seen an explosion of disruptive players, all driven through the adoption of the Internet and/or mobile technologies.
Yesterday we hosted an event “The Future of Digital Payments” in London at the magnificent, if slightly warm, Royal Exchange. It was one of the best attended Endava events that we’ve held, despite the World Cup and Wimbledon trying to compete with us!
I’ve been working on a new presentation for Endava’s Future of Digital Payments event in London at the end of June. The talk will link the Government’s work on the Identity Assurance scheme with the architectural changes that retail banks have been implementing to enable mobile banking through APIs.
Banks have been relatively slow to implement APIs, but it will open up more opportunities than they would have imagined at the start of these programmes.
This got me thinking about how identity assurance and digital identity could transform other industries.
I’ve got a busy few weeks coming up – next week I’m visiting our new delivery centre in Skopje, Macedonia where I’m planning to meet some local creative agencies and generally lend a hand in the new office. If you work in Skopje and would like to meet next week, please drop me a line.
And then on the 26th June, I’m speaking at an Endava hosted event in London called “The Future of Payments”. I’ve almost finished my presentation, and I’ll share parts of it here over the coming weeks. The payments industry is undergoing massive change at the moment, with new innovative competitors appearing almost weekly.
These changes are creating huge new opportunities – with technology innovations around identity and mobile creating a payments ecosystem which is probably going to look very different to the current one.
If you’d like to come to the payments event, please contact me and I’ll give more information.
Earlier today I gave a short presentation to the Digital Finance Masterclass in London. I only had ten minutes, followed by 8 sessions of pretty intense ‘Digital Surgeries’ – a great format, but quite tiring.
Before the event, I had been told that the Digital Surgeries were like speed dating – thankfully I got married before speed dating, because I can’t imagine going through that process in a relaxed, sociable setting.
With only ten minutes for the first presentation, to a varied audience across Financial Services, I focussed on the following topics, shown in the attached Slideshare presentation:
Financial services companies should start planning for a new global market, and here’s how it can unfold.
It all starts with Identity
Governments have often played a central in verifying the identity of an individual. For instance, governments issue passports, driving licences and authenticate commercial organisations, mainly for tax and legal reasons. Governments are considered trusted sources of verifying identities – banks trust government documentation such as a passport or driving licence) to prove a person or company says they are who they say they are.
Every year I forecast a number of predictions in the Digital Media/ Internet world, and at the end of the year I score those predictions to see whether they came true or not. Here are links to 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 predictions.
For the coming year, here are my predictions:
TV will change. In the next couple of years, television is going to change significantly in both content and technology terms. In the latter front, I reckon we’ll see 3D disappear altogether (bye-bye 3D channels), Ultra HD become production ready, Xbox One will become the central home entertainment device, and with television sets growing every year, we’ll see more transparent TV technologies for when the box is switched off. In content terms, Sky have lost the TV rights to the Champions League from the 2015/6 season. This will mean the next round of Premiership rights bidding will be huge, because Sky can’t afford to lose the Premier League. Unless they start significantly boosting the awareness of another sport, similar to what they’ve done with darts and cycling. The bad news for consumers is that TV is going to become fragmented – think multiple subscriptions from different providers to see all the TV content that your family wants to watch. The next two years of TV will see massive change.
Investment post-recession. Remember Facebook buying Instagram for a billion dollars? Or Google buying Waze for almost a billion dollars? As the world (minus Spain and Greece) dusts itself down and emerges from the recession, we’ll see the spending spree continue. I’d expect to see TV broadcasters and newspapers lead in this area.
We’ll see the pace of consumerisation speed up. Large companies will produce their own app stores, many more companies will move to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and finally improve the usability of their in-house apps. Across businesses, staff will demand more touch screens to work with Windows 8[.1]. All of this will mean that the business (i.e. non-IT departments) will be buying what we have always called ‘the technology’. And this will be challenging for established IT departments.
Security is going to move to the top of the agenda, specifically with Trust and Identity. This will become the big item agendas for IT departments. Historically we’ve seen hacking groups held up as revolutionaries and small time geeks who are bored. This public and media perception will change as more people’s identities are cloned and security costs for hacking intrusions are passed on to end customers.
From Mobile to Wearable. IT and marketing departments have focused on mobile devices for the last couple of years. We’ll see the focus shift to wearable devices as Google Glass, Samsung watches and Apple somethings all become mainstream. SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) will be replaced by SWAC (Social, Wearable, Analytics and Cloud).
2014 will be the year of the wallet. Visa released V.me at the end of 2013. PayPal already provides a wallet, and we’ll also see banks and payment systems releasing them. The good news is that it’s going to be easier to pay by card online – you’ll only need a username and password rather than your credit card number. The bad news is that we could end up with a number of wallets and many passwords. It will become a race for the first wallet.
Speech recognition to become more mainstream. I use speech recognition for Google searches on my phone and laptop. It gets my search correct most of the time, and for the other occasions, Google usually second guesses what I was trying to search for and gives those results instead. With Google’s speech API, almost any app can use speech recognition, and the more it’s used, it will become better quality.
Integration between services. When I received Google Glass in December I was impressed that as soon as you log in with your Google account, it shares phone numbers held on my Android phone together with my Google+ profile and so on. I saw a demo of Sharepoint 2013 recently with excellent integration between Yammer, Sharepoint, Lync, Exchange and Outlook. To date, social integration has been about finding Facebook friends on a new service or asking them to build new farms and vegetables. We’ll start seeing more clever implementations between applications – why does both Strava and my health insurance app need to follow me around when they can share data?
The new Premium offering, now in preview (i.e. beta) phase, supports unlimited users, two factor authentication (including phone calls and text messages), to provide a Single Sign On solution across Azure applications, even non-Microsoft ones. If an organisation creates a custom app on Azure, they can add Active Directory as their own branded SSO system, competing with the likes of Facebook Connect, Twitter, and so on.
Organisations have been requesting these types of systems for a while. At Endava we build and host customers’ websites which have millions of users. Identity Management (IM) systems are usually licensed on a per-user basis, which is unaffordable for clients who offer free user accounts, so in the past we’ve usually built custom solutions for IM. Windows Azure Active Directory Premium offers this as a cloud based Identity Management system on a monthly cost rather than per user.
Many IT professionals predict public cloud offerings as the end of private data centres. Other IT professionals think that public cloud is fine for consumer apps, not enterprise level. I believe it depends on what the enterprise is trying to do that makes public cloud an option or not.
Azure Active Directory, especially the Premium offering, significantly strengthens Microsoft’s public cloud offering for the enterprise and provides an affordable IM solution for all websites.