A growing number of banks that boast twenty-four seven-service online experienced major outages – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One, even fintech Chime. How can banks and other financial institutions become more antifragile?
Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more
The Financial Cost Of Online Banking Outages
These outages mean major financial costs, lost fees, an increase in time to market, and potential class actions and fines. Savvy digital natives may avoid the bank entirely if there are constant interruptions to digital connectivity. This might have been forgivable in the nineties, but in 2019, customers expect zero downtime, and an outage could be a compelling reason to switch to a more reliable bank.
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The stakes get higher for investors. Digital trading created a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week trading cycle that transcends time zones, geographical boundaries and the typical 9:30 am - 4:00 pm day. If you’ve been to the NYSE lately, it’s a dead zone in comparison to its heyday. A good example of the downfalls of a connectivity gap in digital trading is CoinBase’s transaction issues when crypto trading volume is too high. The volatile market of crypto can fluctuate wildly within a 6 hour or 60 minute period. CoinBase is notorious for shutting their entire site or app completely, blocking their users from accessing their accounts and selling BTC when the price is up or selling when the market drops. I imagine users have lost thousands of dollars over this.
Yet which bank or trading service is more reliable? The future is uncertain, but blows to bank infrastructure are a given, and to thrive banks need to be more than resilient, they need to be designed to get stronger in chaotic environments, to be as writer Nasim Taleb suggests "antifragile".
Characteristic Of The Antifragile Bank
One characteristic of the antifragile bank is a multi-cloud approach spread across multiple vendors - AWS, Azure, and GCP - where you plan for redundancy and prevent workloads from being tied to any one vendor. Couple that with a hybrid cloud—public and on-premise—to mitigate risk and distribute workloads across environments for peak availability, run time, and cost-efficiency. Cloud is not about cheap servers or storage. It is how you turn ideas into critical software, faster. It is the gateway to the rapid deployment of advanced applications that use machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Cloud is not the panacea, but it is a key enabler of the antifragile bank - a bank with better security, latency, disaster prevention, that enables the innovation of new products and services based on a continuously changing business environment.