Banking in the cloud: Accelerating
transformation and innovation
By Suranjan Chatterjee,global head, Cloud Apps,
Microservices & API for Tata Consultancy Services.
any modern business operating in the 21st century, a commonly shared
goal is “digital first” and banks are no different, offering customers more
mobile banking solutions and café-style experiences than ever before.
UK embarked on a “digital thinking” transformation built on the cloud, considering
it a paradigm it believes the rest of the industry should embrace. Essentially, it jumped on
the Open Banking reforms that came into force in the UK in January 2018, which required
big banks to open their databases and help customers share information on personal
banking habits such as spending and payments with other authorized financial
service providers. Barclays UK doesn’t consider banking regulation a
constraining force, bur rather, urges industry professionals to realize that
they and regulators are working toward the shared goal of customer centricity.
as progressive banks continue to evolve and consider digital technologies, the
banking industry at-large remains cautious about embracing and integrating 21st
century cloud platforms, which underpin these offerings. The apprehension from
the c-suite oftentimes comes with questions about the readiness of the
technology itself and how much reasonable risk the bank is willing to take.
CIO, however, can and should play a vital role building the business case for
cloud across the c-suite, including the CFO and COO. To get their support, the
CIO should communicate the value in terms of business outcomes, which go beyond
dollars and cents. These outcomes should include the impact on key constituents
– customers and their satisfaction, partners and employees themselves.
Unlocking the power of cloud
there is buy-in from the c-suite to proceed, the next step is communicating the
value of cloud to those who hold the most likelihood of being directly impacted
by this change. But to customers, partners and employees, cloud needs to be
synonymous with innovation and security. Customers need to be ensured their
assets will be available and protected, the broader ecosystem of business partners
who are essential to the bank’s continued success need to be ensured their
joint offerings are air-tight, and finally, bank employees and executives need
to see efficiencies in processes be to feel rewarded, do higher value work and
deliver better results to investors and to the communities they serve.
good news is during the last 18 months, the security and reliability capabilities
of the best cloud providers have increased, reaching new levels of data
protection that meet the new rigorous regulatory requirements of the banking
how are some of the world’s most progressive banks handling the move to cloud?
ABN AMRO created a secure portal to allow
customers to access accounts and services through their smart devices, also
enabling various third parties to connect through secure application
programming interfaces (APIs). A variety of new business offerings are being
created between third-party fintech and banks and unsurprisingly, some of these
new digital offerings are growing faster than traditional banking business
it isn’t just customers who stand to gain. ABN AMRO is delivering advantages to
its employees as well. ABN AMRO, like
some large banks, is experimenting with Artificial
Intelligence and Machine Learning to relieve bank employees of some of
the time-consuming and highly monotonous tasks they often encounter, to focus
more on creative work and customer engagement. Intelligent assistants are also
helping staff conduct sophisticated risk analysis. Major banking institutions
like ABN AMRO in Europe serve as testament that banks who embark on their cloud
journey can see lower costs, faster innovation, and improved customer
where to next?
are various business functions will benefit from the speed, efficiency, flexibility,
and continuous innovation of the cloud more than others. Additionally, a
variety of processes will become more efficient, such as customer-facing
applications. For other applications, the deciding factor will be if the
migration will save money, create additional value, or both.
CIOs need to help c-suite executives see
the cloud as indispensable to the future of the brand. It is the key to
delivering the revolutionary experiences that today’s stakeholders expect and
tomorrow’s will demand.
Chatterjee is global head, Cloud Apps, Microservices & API for Tata