How Your Organization Can Withstand the TEST of Time

Posted by Steve Gilde on October 2, 2018

Just a few more words about the recent Diebold Nixdorf TAGxPIX event before we move on…

Near the end of the session, the DN team asked me if I would participate in a podcast for their Commerce Now series. Never having done anything like that before, I quickly accepted. With Amy Lombardo from DN as the moderator, I joined Chad Lynch from America First Credit Union and Ashley Anthony from Center State Bank in a discussion to recap the event.  

Listen to Podcast

Chad’s comments from the podcast should give you a pretty good feel for how far the ATM industry has come over the past 50 years. In the early days, folks were mostly just trying to understand how ATMs work and today we are talking in technical detail about ATM/mobile integrations, cybersecurity issues, the migration to Windows 10, as well as pulling together specific details about what the Next Generation of ATMs will be like and how they will operate.

In fact, even after more than 35 years in the business, I would argue that there has never been more activity within the ATM industry as there is today. Despite the ongoing debates about the end of cash, I see continued investment in the ATM channel, even as electronic payments of all kinds continue to grow across the board.

The continued desire to compete and succeed was clearly evident at the TAGxPIX event. Even small credit unions talked about how they are using technology and their physical presence in their market space to compete with both bigger institutions and digital disruptors.

Of course, this is great news for a company like Paragon. No matter which direction any particular organization wants to move in payments, they will need to test all of their new products, all of their new services, all of their new connections to make sure that everything works flawlessly every time so that they can provide best possible experience to their own customers.

The entire Paragon team is extremely busy these days as more organizations are realizing that the time has finally come to move away from manual processes and legacy test tools and invest in building a modern testing infrastructure to support the next wave(s) of innovation. One of the hottest topics of discussion for both our clients and prospects is automation. More and more payment processors are recognizing the important role that automation can play in reducing the testing burden on staff so that they can focus their time and energy in more strategic areas, like figuring out where they should be innovating.

More IT Issues in the News

So while more and more industry organizations are recognizing the importance of modernizing their testing infrastructure, I was pretty surprised to read this news item that surfaced during the week on Finextra. The quote from Lev Lesokhin, SVP Strategy & Analytics at Cast is particularly damning.

"Based on our research, UK-serving banks such as HSBC and TSB don’t do as good a job controlling the structural quality of their legacy systems. Software is a product of many software developers across geographies and vendors, particularly the case with international banks such as HSBC. Making sure their product is actually reliable is something that’s currently largely left to chance. This is why we’re in a situation where banking software fails us so regularly.

It seems unlikely to me that the current set of circumstances could have taken these institutions by surprise. The UK banks have been outsourcing to India and other global locations for more than 20 years. Certainly, they have had enough time to figure out how to connect the disparate components of their software delivery organizations, develop effective communication channels across the organization and put the right tools and resources in place to ensure global collaboration.  

This is not rocket science. All the pieces needed to design, develop, test and deploy high-quality financial software are readily available. Volumes of material have been written about how to do this right (as well as how to do it wrong).

Yes, I get the fact that there is “legacy technology” involved, but again this fact could not have possibly surprised anyone. Everybody has legacy systems. Over the years, virtually all hardware becomes obsolete, all software goes out of maintenance and becomes unsupported, vendors go out of business, resources retire. These and many other similar issues would be regular topics of discussion in any large IT organization. Most certainly, red flags were raised within the UK banks on many occasions. But still, here we are today, reading about yet more IT failures.   

Change is inevitable, technology advances, old systems wear out, new systems get deployed. This is the world we live in. 

Let us show you how Paragon can help you set-up a payments testing environment that will allow you to automate, innovate and operate at the speed of change.

Let us show you how to withstand the test of time.

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Topics: Innovation, Automation, Payments Testing, Risk