Nationwide are the latest victim in a long list of main stream IT systems starting to show cracks in capacity and resilience planning. With the IT market showing an increased focus on price per unit and a disregard for quality within the unit price it most certainly will not be the last. Information technology needs to focus as a sector on more than just the bottom line price, service availability is key to providing any online service and is often sacrificed to bring down the delivery cost.
Hear at VirtualTin we believe there is a middle ground in providing quality at a realistic and reasonable price, the customer return of investment is easily justified through the returns of not having downtime, let's remember for every minute, hour or day a company is unable to trade not only affects that company but all of the companies that it trades with as well as its customers. The example below is extreme, but how much trade within the UK did not happen due to this outage and what costs were incurred by companies expecting payments that where not processed? certainly food for thought!
More information provided from http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent-business/national-news/city-nationwide-3/
Britain's biggest building society Nationwide suffered an IT blackout that left thousands of customers unable to use its full services this morning.
The IT failure hit the lender's mobile and online banking for two hours between 6.30am and 8.30am and left customers unable to log on to these services.
The firm, which runs 5.7 million accounts, said the issue has now been fixed and it apologised for any inconvenience caused to its customers.
Nationwide said: "We are aware of an issue that meant some customers were unable to access the internet and mobile banks for a short period this morning. We have resolved the issue and apologise for any inconvenience caused."
It added that throughout this period, customers could use their cards to pay for goods and access their accounts at automated cash points.
A number of banks and financial service companies have been caught up in IT blackouts in recent years as their computer systems become increasingly complex.
Last November, the Royal Bank of Scotland was hit with a £56 million fine from the Bank of England and City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after a computer failure in 2012 saw as many as 6.5 million customers unable to make payments for as much as three weeks. The outage hit customers at NatWest and Ulster Bank, which RBS also owns.
Last March, the FCA launched a report into the amount of time resources boards at financial services firms devote to the resilience of their IT systems.
At the time the watchdog said: "To access and manage our money we depend on the banks' IT systems being reliable.
"We want to make sure that the banks have resilient IT systems in place that are able to cope with consumer demand, so customers aren't left financially stranded or disadvantaged."
The report will look at how banks and building societies manage their exposure to IT risks, how engaged boards at banks are with the issue of IT resilience and whether they have the expertise needed to challenge related decisions.
The FCA is expected to issue its updated guidance on IT resilience to financial services firms later this year.