Quality Pays

I was somewhat amused to read today that Barclays Banks’ computer systems have gone titsup again. In fact looking at El Regs stories it seems like an almost monthly occurrence.

Barclays have been very aggressive on forcing rate cuts on contractors in the past and are currently in the midst of another round of IT layoffs.

It’s hard [doh – edit] not to believe their sole focus on cost and ignoring quality and experience has had  no impact on their less than stellar performance these last few months.

I assume senior management bonuses are unaffected by the cost cutting…

cheers

Simon

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7 Responses to “Quality Pays”

  1. JP Says:

    Don’t you mean

    “It’s hard not to believe their sole focus on cost and ignoring quality and experience has had an impact on their less than stellar performance these last few months.”

  2. dougaj4 Says:

    Simon – failure to avoid the use of double negatives can often obscure your meaning :)

  3. Simon Says:

    yeah – whichever is the worst view
    I don’t normally do double negatives cos they are hard to understand.
    have fixed the post ta

  4. Bob Phillips Says:

    That is only one part of one system at Barclays. ADmittedly, it is a highly visible part of that Bank’s oldest and maybe most important system, but I think your conclusions are a tad sweeping and generalised based upon that sole example.

    Also, the IT was out-sourced some years ago, on a fixed price 5 year deal, so it is possible that the outsourcing company is responsible for the problems, Barclays may even be making good money from compensation clauses in the contract.

    @JP, could the performaance be something to do with economic conditions? In fact, since hitting a low share price of 55p in Feb 2009 when it still looked bad for Banks, they have done pretty well. They have taken a slight hit recently as their Arab investors have capitalised some of their investment, but still 650% up on Feb.

  5. Simon Says:

    A tad sweeping, or the tip of the iceberg (the only visible bit) we might never know. I wonder how often their (internal) management accounts are late or wrong?

    And I know they are not the only ones making aggressive cuts, but the impacts seem a bit more visible than other places.

  6. Bob Phillips Says:

    Wrong, I can’t say as I am not an accountant, but they weren’t late when I was there (and that was quite a while).

    And in reality, their online banking system was one of the earliest, and from my experience is still one of the best.

    I am not trying to defend Barclays, I witnessed some true horror stories when I was there, including the run-up to the global meltdown (and Barclays was a long way short of the worst), but I also know that they were a typical large IB in a poorly managed capitalist system, there were many more like them, many worse.

    This is nothing more than another El Reg scare story, and whilst you may have no idea whether this is the whole iceberg or the tip of the iceberg, ‘… intermittent failures …’ hardly sounds like news to me.

  7. Simon Says:

    Bob
    I’m not particularly picking on Barclays. I’ve seen plenty of horror stories everywhere I’ve worked. Each new client shocks a bit more than the last.

    The trouble is the appalling quality of internal systems is usually hidden from external eyes. So whenever a bit peeps out it would be rude not to have a pop.

    happy to agree to disagree and accept we have seen different things on our tours.

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