Leadership Insights Blog by Peter Alkema

Pandemics & Wars: There’s an app for that

May 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

In the early days of the Ukraine invasion, IT enthusiasts on quadbikes helped prevent a colossal 65km Russian tank convoy from reaching Ukraine’s capital. Armed with drones and night-vision goggles they ambushed the tanks and supply points during a series of night raids. Blocked by wreckage and paralysed by fuel shortages, 15,000 soldiers and heavy …

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Jul 4 2016

FNB Codefest: The Moonshot Factory

Technical craftsmanship must be co-located, showcased and rewarded to achieve real breakthroughs; spaceflight and banking are no different. NASA employs the brightest people on this planet so we can learn about other planets and even land on them. Elon Musk personally phones the top grads from Harvard, Yale and MIT to lure them into his …

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Jun 14 2016

Africa DevOps Day 2016: Building skills for the next generation

FirstRand is hosting this crucial industry event on September 29th; it promises to make a valuable contribution to the growing community of DevOps practitioners in South Africa. The concept of a regular DevOps Africa conference was conceived by Josef Langerman of Standard Bank in order to create a platform for the local DevOps community. Standard Bank …

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May 24 2016

Social Styles and IT: Beyond personal interaction

The well known 4 social styles model is useful to understand “how” you interact with people; you can also use this model to describe the “what” of IT to different stakeholders. Driver, Expressive, Amiable and Analytical – these are the 4 behavioural styles that explain how people interact with eachother. Many leadership courses teach this interpersonal model to improve relationships, especially in …

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May 12 2016

FNB Codefest 2016: What’s happening?

The coolest IT sprint in the FirstRand Group is going to new heights this year; join us to build, learn and share your cool stuff. At last year’s October codefest over 250 developers built 42 apps in a 6 day sprint from business ideation through to an intense dragon’s den including the FNB and RMB CEOs (see the …

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May 10 2016

Being agile at becoming Agile, child's play right?

The Agile Manifesto is not the 10 commandments, it’s principles; much like 50 shades of kid’s parties…. what? Software development is essentially a creative process requiring far more social psychology than many development methodologies allow for, even Agile ones. Some thought leaders argue that Agile software projects are like complex adaptive systems (CAS); related agents interacting in an environment of continually changing conditions. …

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May 5 2016

Wethinkcode and FNB: #feeshavefallen

The first peer to peer tertiary IT education academy in Africa was launched last night in downtown Johannesburg; it was a celebration of talent, partnership and possibility. The launch was held in one of the oldest, traditional banking halls of 1940’s Johannesburg, now converted to a world class venue. The colonialist architecture of 87 Commissioner Street was from the …

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Mar 30 2016

FNB.Grad_Programme(tech_success)

Real world banking IT experience, cool tech and talent development; it’s all happening at FNB’s 2016 Grad Programme. “moveForward(100);” was President Obama’s simple machine instruction at the 2014 Hour of Code event which also made him the first US President to write a line of code. Computer science education officially became mainstream (again) and he reminded the …

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Mar 15 2016

Banking and the real e-race

Exponential growth sets new standards and raises expectations by customers; many industries have been disrupted by this phenomenon and banking will be no exception. Transport, accommodation, retail and the media industries have all been disrupted by relatively new companies in a short period. Uber, Airbnb, Facebook and Alibaba dominate their markets with highly innovative and tech-savvy-customer-centric business models. They also don’t …

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Feb 8 2016

Banking and the cloud; don’t let the hype… well… cloud your judgment

Start by understanding the risks and costs of cloud, how this model would benefit your business then assess what IT assets you want to migrate. Tesco Bank now views cloud as business as usual after a full migration in less than nine months. However cloud has struggled to make significant inroads in large banks due to issues such as availability, …

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Jan 14 2016

Internet of Things (IoT) and Banking; helping customers bank better by extending the fintech ecosystem

What are the benefits and opportunities for IoT in banking; have we moved from buzzword to business value and how would it change the banking experience? Accenture’s 2015 mobility research surveyed 2000 execs across 9 industries in 15 countries; 89% believe IoT will have a major impact on their business. The banking perspective is likely to be …

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Jan 7 2016

Leadership Quotient for CIOs

Tech leaders – you will need to take your people to the next level in 2016; master your own journey first and LQ is a powerful lens. It’s the start of the year and the CIO has to master self before they can manage (or even lead) others. No matter what the demands of legacy, disruptive or enterprise …

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Dec 8 2015

Elon Musk; the Iron Man stars in Back to the Future

The South African born, billionaire mega-techpreneur is actually human – but you might not think so after reading Ashlee Vance’s superb biography. We often think we know someone better after we read a book about them; Elon Musk’s multi-industry disruption, highly complex persona and unbelievable tech smarts destroy this theory. He is incredibly difficult to …

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