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January 7, 2013

Guest blog: Technology development in the banking industry

Tristan Rogers, CEO of Concrete Platfrom comments on Barclay's decision to move its IT in-house and onto the Linux operating system.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

Barclay’s decision to move to Linux is the real news in this story, as it is a better reflection of what it is actually doing with technology development, rather than a simple move "away" from any vendor such as Microsoft. Both Microsoft and Oracle have long made money from arcane charging models on their operating systems. In modern browser based web development, the use of Windows on your server, for example, is pretty redundant, yet many companies still pay substantial royalties to Microsoft for the privilege. Then there are the SQL and Oracle database costs.

Private clouds, such as the one that Barclay’s runs, is more accurately a combination of purchased and leased servers hosted in multiple, load balanced locations, providing a high availability web based interface to various applications purpose built for the user base. Again, this is a far cry from the old Citrix or VPN access to an office-based machine that so many enterprise have run (and continue to run). This move to purpose built cloud ditches MS and Oracle operating systems, and I believe this is where Barclay’s saves its money. This money can then be re-purposed for application development. However, for the most part, this switch is primarily focussed around B2C applications such as Pingit. The area that remains uncharted, however, is the platform for internal working within the extended enterprise. Here, Microsoft will still have many licenses of Exchange, Sharepoint, SQL, MS Office and various other "additions", all employed in the interests of internal productivity. The vast quantities of digital content emanating from these tools will then be sprayed across the organisation on thousands of Windows enabled servers and shared drives in myriad folders and archives.

Whilst it is great to hear a large enterprise such as Barclay’s taking a more intelligent route towards B2C application development, I believe the bulk of the Microsoft and Oracle iceberg remains beneath the waterline in B2B enterprise productivity usage. When we start reading about large enterprises using cloud for this, that is when I believe the software establishment have really got something to worry about.


Tristan Rogers, CEO of Concrete Platform

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