Allianz now deploying to production in minutes

By changing its development practices and investing in a private cloud platform as a service, there have been clear benefits to the business. “Historically it would take two or three days for a deployment to go to production, with lots of manual production. Now with the apps in the garages we can do it on the basis of Cloud Foundry within minutes.”

Source: Allianz app deployment goes from ‘days to minutes’ with PaaS and agile practices

Adding more individual controls to debit cards

Some interesting ideas to improve debit (and credit, one’d presume) with software-driven features:

CardGuard provides additional protection against fraud, since customers are able turn their debit card “on” or “off.” When the card is “off,” no withdrawals or purchases will be approved, with the exception of previously authorized or recurring transactions. Additionally, transaction controls can be set according to location, meaning transactions attempted outside of the geographic parameters set by the customer will be declined.

Also:

With CardGuard, customers are able to better manage their spending by establishing limits for debit card purchases based on the amount of the transaction. Additional controls can be set to manage spending in different categories by enabling or disabling transactions for certain merchant groups, such as gas, grocery or retail stores.

Source: First National Bank app comes with debit card controls

How Asset Managers Can Succeed with Advanced Analytics

A nice overview of what you’d use analytics fit in investing:

Armed with these advanced techniques, digitally forward asset managers can gain a significant information advantage over peers who rely mainly on traditional data sources and analytical practices. They can crunch through vast quantities of data; scour video and satellite imagery to gauge a retailer’s Black Friday prospects; extract insights from social media, texts, and e-mail to divine market sentiment; and parse a CEO’s comments during an earnings call to estimate the potential impact on the next quarter’s results. They can discern how unexpected weather disruptions might affect their portfolio, and even disprove long-held beliefs about how markets work. Smart, dynamic investment technology also helps managers assess their own performance to see whether they may be making the right decisions at the wrong times, buying too late, or listening to “influencers” who push them in the wrong direction.

There’s also a good overview of how to introduce new approaches like the above into the organization without it be Big Bang projects, likely to fail:

In experimenting with new technologies, firms should prioritize a small number of targeted initiatives that can deliver immediate tangible benefits in a focused, resource-­constrained way. In doing so, they should resist two temptations: the “esoteric science experiment,” whose focus is so narrow that the initiative can’t yield scalable results; and the “big bang rollout,” whose scope is so ambitious that it has a daunting price tag and takes too long to demonstrate value.

Source: How Asset Managers Can Succeed with Advanced Analytics

Link: Is the future of wealth management going to be robo-advisers?

Estimate of the market-size for companies like Wealthfront: “whilst in the UK robo-advisers currently only cover less than £1 billion assets under management, the US robo-advisory market handled $19 billion AUM in 2014 (a growth of 65% from the previous eight months).”

Source: Is the future of wealth management going to be robo-advisers?

Better finance KPIs

When I was corporate strategy, this kind of thing drive me up the wall:

As a result, the finance organization spends an inordinate amount of time simply putting the data together and trying to resolve the inconsistencies so that executives can make apples-to-apples comparisons. We estimate that this task consumes roughly 30 percent of the resources in a typical corporate finance function. But the far more serious cost is the negative impact of poor data quality on senior management time and decision making. As one senior executive told us, “Our leadership team spends so much time trying to make sense of the data and debating whether it is right that we never get around to exploring what it really means for the business!”

From BCG