The current IT disaster that TSB finds itself at the centre of is a fascinating insight into the vital role that IT now plays in businesses across the globe. Perhaps once seen as the poor relation in the boardroom, if this fiasco has highlighted anything, it’s that technology has the power to bring a business to its knees and needs representation at the highest level.
Whether we like it or not, we’re now in an era where technology is fundamental to the daily operation, and indeed the very survival, of most businesses. If you were to ask around the boardroom table, ‘could we operate our business without IT for a day?’ I’m pretty sure most would reply with a nervy ‘No’.
The risks from cyber threats has brought this particular risk into sharp focus and only last week the government released its Advisory document on Russian state-sponsored cyber-attacks, but the TSB case highlights that the risks to the very survival of the modern business is wider reaching than from external attacks.
What’s particularly interesting about this story, is the likely cost to the business of the debacle. Early estimates suggest that compensation payments to its customers will be in the region of £20m. But add on to that the reputational damage, and the likelihood that customers will be leaving in their droves, and the real cost could be significantly higher. Some industry commentators are even questioning the very survival of the bank. Events like these are difficult for brands to shake off, the letters TSB, could well become synonymous with how not to run big IT projects.
A successful IT project is one that often goes under the radar. We love delivering projects which deliver exciting new apps to our clients’ users. But sometimes we deliver huge projects that no-one even notices. And looking at the ongoing situation at TSB, that suits us just fine!