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EXCLUSIVE: OpenGov Asia Breakfast Insight – Cloud as the Real Enabler of Digital Transformation

Delegates at OpenGov Asia Breakfast Insight – Cloud as the Real Enabler of Digital Transformation

A cloud-initiated transformation within a financial institution can be the conduit for providing consistent customer experiences on a global scale.

Services are delivered rapidly, effectively and efficiently, making cloud the linchpin of all digital transformation.

Benefits of Cloud

Organisations wanting to be current and future-ready move to cloud infrastructure because it provides business agility, resilience, relocation and recovery. Moreover, it allows for rapid scale-up, ease of addition or integration of additional services and uniformity across vast geo-locations.

Users can enjoy increased mobility and flexibility that will allow organisations to connect with their employees, clients and vendors seamlessly, irrespective of time and location.

While compliance intricacies and risk management concerns are genuine issues, there are established guidelines, protocols and strategies that mitigate these.

Despite all these benefits, business have been reticent and conservative of migration to the cloud. Misconceptions, lack of comprehensive understanding and security concerns continue to prevent a full-scale move.

Legitimate as they are, these concerns may likely be preventing financial institutions from gaining the huge benefits of cloud infrastructure.

To further the urgency, increasing competition from FinTech companies, traditional financial institutions can no longer hold off the concerns they face in digital transformation.

Cloud will be the future of the financial landscape. Hence, the question at hand is not should organisations be moving to cloud; rather, how can the move be made successfully in a phased manner using any combination of on-premises, private, public or hybrid cloud.

Challenges Faced

No doubt, there are issues to be considered, particularly as financial institutions are dealing with sensitive information that come under the ambit of governance, risk management and compliance.

These are further complicated by regulatory concerns, taxation and financial laws. Adding to this, would be the challenges faced by institutions working in multiple locations and continents where rules, regulations and compliance are determined by the countries they operate in.

“One of the key things we should remember is that cloud is just outsourcing. It doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk, it produces the risk. And the risk is, change.”
John Baddiley

Discussing Cloud

On 7th March 2019, senior executives from financial institutions and insurance agencies in Singapore gathered for an insightful discussion on the cloud migration as well as factors hindering the FSI sector from potentially harnessing the benefits of cloud migration.

Mohit Sagar

OpenGov Asia’s Breakfast Insight: Cloud as the Real Enabler of Digital Transformation gave delegates the opportunity to discuss key issues surrounding migration to the cloud, data concerns, key pillars such as people, process and technology as well as the different cloud environments and options suitable for different business functions.

Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, set the tone of the day by speaking about cloud being the enabler of digital transformation and how cloud-based infrastructure is key to delivering flexible, agile, and on-demand access to the services.

Ian Loh, Cloud Service Providers Leader, Dell EMC, created the context for discussion by sharing two critical observations. First was that cloud is legitimate and second was that hybrid cloud is the way forward.

Ian explained that while business plans did not necessarily rest on a Cloud-First perspective, they should embrace a cloud component as a part of their strategy and structure early on.

Taking the discussion forward was Cheong Yen Niap, Go to Market Lead – Cloud Services, Singtel, who spoke about the key challenges in operating cloud environments.

Traditional institutions, according to him, should be concerned about non-conventional FinTech businesses that deploy new technology rapidly, are not risk-averse and are far more agile.

With ubiquitous cloud presence, FinTechs are able to provide customers a wider range of choice, faster and more reliable services, ease of doing business and remote access.

Established banks and FSI agencies have massive investments in physical outlets, legacy structures and mind-sets that hinder them from quickly adopting a pro-cloud stance.

International speaker and cloud expert, John Baddiley, Head of Technology Strategy from Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) shared BNZ’s monumental journey of transitioning to cloud, the challenges they encountered, and their future plans.

The key take-away for the Bank of New Zealand’s journey is that change is essential. Failure to do so may entail irrelevance for the company.

He shared that the changes seen in the financial services sector are driven by the consumerisation of technology.

The expectation of customers is now dictated by the non-traditional banking experiences they enjoy on computer, laptops and phones – anywhere and anytime.

FinTech and other non-traditional agencies follow the ease-of-use patterns of social media platforms and offer similar services to their customers.

From account services, to lending, to investments and wealth management, rewards and loyalty, FinTechs are able to provide all similar services that banks can – but individually.

Unbundling of a Bank Credit: Source: CB Insights

However, FinTechs cannot replace the overalls service that a traditional bank provides. When unbundled, a bank’s offering consists of about 300 processes, options and services – under one big umbrella.

Thus, instead of being worried about fellow financial institutions, banks must now consider FinTechs as their main competitors and also potential allies and partners.

Adopting Cloud

John described the assessment process undertaken for cloud services as similar to any other service provision: checking into security, data privacy, suitable skills, and availability.

The Cloud Adoption Standards Technique (CAST) is a methodology designed across 7 perspectives that define mandatory standards, implementation techniques, controls and assurance mechanisms for migrating material workload to public cloud.

Each of the 7 perspectives is a specific area of focus. They are:

  1. Supplier, Commercial and Outsourcing
  2. Architecture
  3. DevOps and Delivery
  4. Data Management
  5. Security
  6. Service Management
  7. Business Continuity and Resilience

The Future for Cloud

John concluded his talk by sharing what the future holds for cloud.

We will continue with a hybrid approach for the foreseeable future. Legacy systems remain the main systems of record for reasons of investments and current skillsets, while Cloud computing promises to meet the new enterprise requirements for speed and agility.

According to him, the future is changing today and the continuous growth of the FinTech ecosystem calls for an increased cadence of change.

Delegates of the OpenGov Breakfast Inisght: Cloud as the Real Enabler of Digital Transformation left the session with a far more comprehensive and pragmatic understanding of cloud migration. The genuine sharing of real journeys, robust discussions and insightful interactions provided, not only, food for thought but a better idea for a way forward.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com