RBS: Avoidable IT Issues and the Ripple Effect

by Brian Kerr, on 21-Aug-2017 09:45:00

We’ve all heard by now the issues Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is experiencing due to the malfunction of one of its payment programs during an upgrade and its effects on more than 17 million business and personal accounts. The good news is, the glitch has been fixed and RBS is making every effort to rectify the situation by providing customer service that is above its normal level during this time of turmoil. The bad news is this entire situation, which resulted in an exorbitant amount of time, cost and brand reputation lost, could have been easily avoided.  Even worse, this is only one example in a series of recent “glitches” that has wreaked havoc – across large customer bases, industries and even countries. So, how could this and other issues have been avoided? Very simply; with more automated and structured processes. I’m not talking about Business Process Management (BPM) but rather IT Service Management (ITSM) the backbone of any IT department looking to ensure consistency and productivity as well as reduced downtime. Risk created through change must be managed and controlled. IT is so deeply embedded in the business that a serious IT failure, such as the one experienced by RBS, can have a catastrophic and long-lasting effect on the profitability and image of a business. It is important for IT, not only, to prevent downtime wherever possible but to increase productivity through visibility of impact, risk assessment and cost control, as well as providing a solid plan to support backup recovery. ITSM is a discipline for the management of IT that drives a shift from reactive fire-fighting to proactive innovation, supported by ITSM best practices captured in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Visibility of the relationships and dependencies between the infrastructure components which support the services that are provided; combined with repeatable and automated process to control and manage the risk and impact of changes to the live environment, can greatly reduce the negative effect of poorly implemented change but also lessen the risk involved with such change. Structured automated processes which involve the correct people at the correct time, with the appropriate levels of authorization, also provide clearer visibility and accountability of risk and impact assessment, as well, authorizations taken and viable back out or recovery processes, should the need arise. These processes should also allow for complete trialing of the new software in a non-production environment prior to its Release. There are many ITSM solutions available today (including ours) to support better, faster and cheaper delivery and support of IT services.  These solutions also enable:


  • Streamlined IT support through automation of repeatable processes
  • Optimized resource usage through better visibility and planning
  • Reduced cost of service provision – better utilization of resources
  • Service lifecycle management
  • Support lifecycle management
  • Asset lifecycle management
  • Improved management reports for more informed business decisions
  • Better responsiveness to the needs of the business
  • Less technical and more service oriented IT support
  • Mitigation of risk to ensure business continuity
  • Improved capability for Continual Improvement


When evaluating the risks (downtime, customer frustration and brand reputation) versus rewards (structure, consistency, safety and assurance) associated with ITSM is there really a choice? I’m sure RBS is wishing they had a plan in place before the chaos of the last week. Need more proof – hear what our end-users have to say.  


About Axios Systems


Since 1988, Axios Systems has been committed to innovation by providing rapid deployment of IT Service Management (ITSM) software. With teams in 22 locations globally and over 1,000 successful customer SaaS and on-premise deployments, Axios is a worldwide leader in ITSM solutions, with an exclusive focus on ITSM. Axios’s enterprise ITSM software, assyst, is purpose-built, designed to transform IT departments from technology-focused cost centers into profitable business-focused customer service teams. assyst adds tangible value to each client’s organization by building on the ITIL®  framework to help solve their business challenges. Axios is headquartered in the UK, with offices across Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Asia Pacific. For more information about Axios Systems, please visit our website, Twitter or YouTube channel.  



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