"Interesting thought. Consider your comment "understand the obscenely complex ways of ancient multi-layered systems". I've worked for a number of Banks, Pensions Providers and other non-FS businesses, and I can honestly say they are all getting MORE obscenely complex. Banking may have been complex before its time, but IT is getting more complex across the board."
IT is a support service and bank support service managers love to do 2 things.
Deliver the same level of f**kups (at this cheaper price) that the old system does. They'd like less but they know the predators up the food chain won't eat them if it's at least as good.
So how do you do this?
Well don't *redevelop* stuff that already works. That's a complete waste of money (I know better but I've seen systems whose core code ran on emulation about 4 layers deep. Yes it was a bank and no it had never failed since the early 60s)
Pull in other data from some other systems (on different hardware platforms & OSes) synch it all up, add in a (small) bit of new code and you have a whole new financial instrument for the front office to to play with.
Banks buy *lots* of middleware.
In *theory* the smarter move is to rationalize the data, clean out the 6 decades of cruft then upload to some super duper package so the support costs are spread across *all* package customers.
Making that work in one of the UK high street banks will probably take *huge* bespoking of any package up to the job (I guess SAP has an app module for that 'cause they seem to have one for everything else) and the selective assassination of certain senior staff (not advocating it you understand, just saying things might go a bit smoother if some of the obstacles to "progress" were greased out of the way).
Otherwise a first rate piece on how to survive the eternal battle between doing a piece of work you can be proud of while avoiding becoming the next prey animal for the backstabbing PoS who supervises you without resorting to lethal force.