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Our legacy is our integrity (concluded)

Richard Buckle, Pyalla Technologies, LLC


pyalla aug 2020

Bali Nomads and not a manager in sight!

It’s all about mindset; this is the second
in a two part series on value of infrastructure, possible future usage of ATMs
and importantly, the role NonStop will continue to play.

In my previous post, the first in this two part series, I wrote of how so much that participates in the completion of any ATM initiated transaction is, for the most part, hidden out of sight. For those marketing ATMs the presence of global networks and fault tolerant systems is neither here nor there – it’s just all going to happen somewhere out there.

Not to worry, it truly is transparent to what is being offered on an ATM. The integrity of the transaction is for all sakes and purposes, guaranteed. But what does legacy mean for those operating networks of ATMs? Exactly which part of the infrastructure is considered legacy?

If we are being honest to ourselves, our company and our customers, every business supporting ATMs needs to seriously take a look at the applications they run. Systems and networks have long since moved on from being considered legacy, but not too many applications have followed suit. More importantly though, is the actual business of cash contributing to a lessening of enthusiasm to modernize applications?

There has been a cartoon circulating social media channels that has fueled a number of discussions. It depicts two individuals asking the most pertinent of questions at this time of social distancing. “We ditched the open office. Now we’re going free range,” is the observation of cartoonist, Mark Anderson.

Writing of legacy has led to thoughts about what the “new normal” might look like and the discussions inevitably return to one common theme – will we ever want to return to the commute, hang out by the water cooler and yes, take up residence in one of those dreaded cubes we took for granted for so long.

If the technology at hand allows us to “free range”, as suggested, will this see us looking at ways to access our cash? Our smartphones, tablets and laptops do a great job of ensuring we can safely access our accounts but where do we go to get cash? More importantly, free to range anywhere and yes, contributing as we wander, will we even need cash? Having spent the greater portion of my working life in cars, trains, boats and planes I am constantly reminded of the safety cash provides. I always travel with enough cash to facilitate fast exit from a station, dock or airport upon arrival.

Alongside my cash is my ATM card and once settled in my hotel, the lobby ATM gets a visit long before the café and bar. Can I do all of this with plastic? I sure can, but as others before me have noted in their posts, accessing cash is a great way to manage a budget and even when expenses are compensated do I really want to share with colleagues and associates just how much I spent at the bar?

Services rendered always come with an expectation of a tip and while there are lists of countries informing us that tipping is rude (my place of birth, Australia, for instance, appears on such a list), during my most recent trip there was no suggestions ever that I should take back the coins I left on the table. The future of ATMs remains solid even as we talk so much about cash becoming as legacy as our applications.

Point is, if we are to become a society that is “free range”, allowed to contribute from wherever we have access to WiFi or whatever passes as communications, then there will be more times than we care to count where cash will get us out of a bind. Safety? Yes, but there is more.

What this global pandemic has once again reinforced is that if you do have cash, you are in a much better situation should negotiations become necessary. In real time! Our infrastructure is rock-solid and modern and our applications most certainly need attending to, but that ATM today, stands like a beacon to all of us needing to move quickly.

If working free range may be an unfamiliar concept then perhaps being a digital nomad holds more appeal. Rather than scratching around the countryside like chickens left to find sustenance, digital nomads have a purpose. They have a mission. There’s code to be written, requirements to be documented and proposals to be argued.

Until the coronavirus pandemic shut them down, temporarily, there was a business in Bali, Indonesia, set up to cater for all the needs of digital nomads. Because of the transitory nature of these nomads, cash was a necessity for most residents. And yet, the sense of freedom was hard to ignore – I have my device, I have a network, I have a service and possibly a cloud. I can work where the adult beverages are inexpensive and where the weather tends to set to one side any thoughts of stepping into business attire.

The integrity of today’s global networks is a constant reminder that our freedom to leave our homes, leave our (traditional) offices indeed, leave our local café can be pursued without concerns about our livelihood. We have reached the point where we can argue that the value we provide (against a backdrop of being able to work anywhere and as long as that shining beacon is in sight) then yes, we are in business. Around the clock! At our manager’s beck and call, practically. Legacy? I will give you legacy. It’s not the technology and it’s not the architecture or deployment, but rather a mindset.

And nothing screams mindset more than NonStop. HPE has invested heavily in NonStop and in the coming months we will all be witnesses to even more of the benefits inherent with NonStop. Greater security, more performance, greater integration with the bigger HPE and yes, even tighter integration with all that surrounds NonStop. Entering the age of insight may be all the rage right now but what good is insight if you cannot access data created in real time on NonStop? When it comes to mindset, NonStop just screams value!

Before leaving this topic of legacy it’s worth noting that our culture may be having an effect on our modernization plans. Pursuing digital transformation may not come naturally for many IT professionals only too happy to continue development using tools with which they are familiar. A few days ago JPMorgan Chase announced a partnership with fintech startup Marqeta to launch ‘virtual’ credit cards. Justification for this partnership? According to Marqeta chief revenue officer, Omri Dahan, “it would have taken years for the Wall Street giant to build a similar product in-house.”

Dahan then provided the proverbial slap across the face of traditional, in house, IT when he said, “These big financial institutions are tied to the legacy systems that they’ve built on top of for years, it’s hard for them to access modern technology.” Even as our platforms and systems are routinely upgraded to embrace the latest technology, perhaps it is worth considering that in today’s climate, our people do need to be cognizant of the ever-present challenge of learning new things. For the NonStop community concerned about this perhaps it’s worth checking out the post by Karen Copeland, Manager, Worldwide HPE NonStop Product ManagementModernizing the development world of NonStop applications

It is only natural that we will continue to interface with the world around us via transactions. We may prefer the cash hands-off approach as is talked about during these times. Who wants to touch a grubby handful of banknotes, but then again, I am not so sure pulling plastic from my wallet and interfacing a contactless terminal really does all that much considering my wallet transits my pocket or purse which in turn, brushes up against well, everything.

Perhaps what we have been doing for all these years is the natural way to manage our affairs where the only lasting thought of our legacy is indeed our integrity. Sitting in Bali, as digital nomads, we are truly at work as different as it may be to anything we previously did and yet, working this way we provide value. Isn’t this what we all want to do; provide value and with value, obtain cash for our efforts?