Someone asked me this question: "Chris, why are still arguing?" about the debate I have been having with Michael Goldman for the last week. Michael began this discussion because he fundamentally disagreed with my original blog about IP being the foundation of today's bank.
They asked me this question as there's debate and then there's long, drawn-out and boring dull dialogue, which is where the discussion has been heading. After all, this is my fifth entry on the subject – if interested, first, second, third, fourth – but I thought it had to continue until there was a conclusion … and now there is one.
The conclusion of the debate is that Michael thinks you should build a bank around bricks and mortar first, and then think about technology afterwards, as he says in his responses.
I disagree because I think you should first start with customers, employees, processes and organisation structure, then look at how to build the optimal way to use these resources with IP-based architecture as its underpinning, and finally build with bricks and mortar to manage the organisation structure at the end.
Banks are trying to do the latter and, with greenfield operations, could do so brilliantly. Instead, due to the fact that they started building Michael's way years ago, they are having to find a path to marry the two worlds. They are achieving this by building their technical IP architecture around the rewiring of any existing buildings that they want to keep in play, as part of this process.
And yes, I'm passionate about the bank being built around IP foundations today as, to me, it is like a discussion about rewiring a house that has faulty wiring or a building with subsidence. If you had a house built in the 1920s with old-fashioned and out-of-date wiring and crumbling foundations, then you would rewire it and rebuild it for today's national grid. And today that's a wireless IP grid.
So, in this posting, which the editors of Finextra must be groaning and moaning about already as we're all fed up with this debate, I'm going to reveal something totally different.
What's been more interesting is the blogging and social networking aspect of this debate.
Michael's entitled to his views … as am I.
So I've had emails saying "Chris, stop it", "you're above all this", "ignore Michael", "leave it out" and so on and so forth. Well yes, I could stop but I didn't. Why?
(a) I like a good debate, when it's worth having;
(b) the nature of today's social internet should allow social dialogue and debate;
(c) I'm not "above anything" – I'm just a guy with online opinions like anyone else, and the fact that I am pretty opinionated myself puts me out there ready for a debate; and
(d) there really should not be any censorship of this debate, as that's not the point of blogs is it?
In other words, the beauty of the internet is that Michael can have this debate with me. I may be right or I may be wrong. However, the very fact that we can have this debate publicly online is the beauty of blogs, social networking and the internet.
For this, I thank Tim Berners-Lee and the fantastic world of the IP-enabled 21st century.