Sunday 25 February 2018

Government can learn from bank response to computer meltdown

THE politicians were quick to criticise Ulster Bank's computer failure, but the reality is that the bank dealt well with the problem and our leaders could learn a thing or two.

The bank failed to sort out the problem quickly and made a serious PR blunder by promising last week that a solution was imminent when this was not the case but it still managed to convince staff to come in over the weekend to help out.

The ability to convince or coerce staff to react to a problem is one of the key tests of any organisation's morale and leadership.

That Ulster Bank's staff were prepared to work hard to make up for somebody else's mistakes in a sister organisation is a tribute to the bank's staff -- both the leadership and the tellers.

Government ministers should remember that nobody was prepared to muck out when payment to around 55,000 social welfare recipients was delayed back in November 2009 when civil servants walked off the job to complain about salary cuts that are nowhere as bad as those endured by Ulster Bank staff.

One day, when the State provides online services that are a fraction as good as the service provided by the banks or companies such as Amazon, we might be prepared to listen to the Government's expertise on matters digital.

In the meantime, we can silently contemplate its inability to manage a simple payroll system for the HSE which is many times smaller than Ulster Bank's customer base.

An organisation that spends €220m on a computer system that doesn't work can't really throw stones.

Indo Business

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