Foreword

Izabella Kaminska

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

– Arthur C. Clarke

Information technology, particularly in finance, seems to have propelled us into an age of wonders. Blockchain will cut costs and remove intermediaries, artificial intelligence (AI) will rapidly replace traders and investment advisors with robots, big data will help make better lending decisions, cryptocurrencies promise to make us all rich with no effort, and everything to do with banking is done better using an app. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have informed the IT department. Inside banks, infrastructure creaks and occasionally fails, with spectacular results. Making changes is hard, simply running the systems is cripplingly expensive and even apps stop working every so often to load more bug fixes and resolve security issues. Why the disconnect?

To the average non-IT literate person, the world of coding, computers and networks appears a mystery if not an enigma. At the push of a button unquestionably mesmerising things happen. Understandably, expectations about what technology – especially digital technology – can achieve get over-inflated as a consequence. Since a huge

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