Industry News 21/09/18

21 September 2018

Reading time 4 minutes

Each week at Rokk we will be looking at the news stories from the world of software and app development in the digital marketplace. From technology developments to new market insights and trends; you can find the news in brief here.

Barclays suffers online banking shutdown

Barclays’ customers were unable to access their online banking and telephone banking on Thursday after an outage reminiscent of TSB’s IT failure in April. The glitch meant millions of users could not log into their accounts for a number of hours. While the website was unavailable Barclays did assure customers that they could still use the mobile banking app to check their balance and send or receive payments. Nevertheless, for those who do not use mobile banking the technical fault caused great distress as customers were unable to make important transactions such as paying bills and wages. RBS further fell victim to a “technical glitch” in their online banking on Friday. Although these faults have now been resolved for both Barclays and RBS, the frequency of these outages suggests that banks should pay more attention to making their online services more robust and secure.

NHS calls for innovative developers to create digital health tools

he NHS unveiled several schemes recently with the aim of boosting technology innovation and the development of applications which will support patient health care. Innovation and Technology Payment offers funding to pioneering developers whose technology has the potential and scale to benefit patients across the NHS. According to NHS England, technology which has already come out of the programme includes HeartFlow, an advanced image analysis software that creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries and can help detect coronary artery disease. Applications have also opened for another NHS scheme, NHS Innovation Accelerator. The scheme, which launched in 2015, has seen the development of apps such as WaitLess, which supports minor injury patients find the nearest treatment facility.

Amazon launches Alexa Gadgets Toolkit

This week Amazon announced the launch of a Beta toolkit which will allow developers to create Amazon Alexa compatible devices and accessories. The Gadgets toolkit includes self-service APIs with a list of interfaces such as Wake Word Detection, Speech and Timers, technical documentation and sample code so creators can build their own accessories which pair and interact with Amazon Echo devices. This development will further expand Amazon’s offering with companies such as Hasbro, BabyPlus® and Novalia having already utilised the toolkit. According to Amazon, the first products to take advantage of the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit will be available for consumers in late 2018.

Google’s Work Insights tool allows organisations to track app usage

Google announced a new tool for enterprises, Work Insights, which will enable businesses to see how their Google applications are used in order to enhance workplace efficiency and collaboration. Organisations can use the tool to monitor employee engagement with G-suite applications such as Gmail, Docs and Drive, generating useful insights such as how often a particular app is used and which departments use certain apps. This analytic software will be valuable for managers looking to understand how staff are using their workplace tools and which apps are most popular, revealing which applications are truly supporting employee productivity. Lesser used applications might indicate that more training is required for staff, information which CTOs can then use to tailor their office skills development.