Establishing a Strong, Future - Ready IT Infrastructure
By Voranuch Dejakaisaya, CIO, Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri)
Breaking Down the ‘Build or Buy’ Dilemma
When it comes to the banking sector in the APAC region, make-or-buy decisions are often segregated depending on the type of service required by an organization, the skill set of the employees, and the resources. Instead of complete outsourcing, a majority of the banks are leveraging IT infrastructure services to gain efficiency, flexibility, and scalability and reduce costs while increasing the focus on in-house system and application development. For example, even though Krungsri Bank is Thailand’s fifth-largest bank with more than 20,000 employees, we have outsourced our IT infrastructure services to IBM since 2012.
Tackling the Industry Challenges
Owing to the domination of cloud technologies, the number of ‘as-a-service’ offerings is growing by the day. This is one of the main reasons why businesses must establish a strong IT infrastructure in place to synchronize critical online applications such as desktop services and business contingency solutions. As a result, 21st-century organizations must leverage tools that monitor the infrastructure and application networks, and provide a real-time dashboard to keep track of overall performance and the security of their assets.
Creating the Leading Edge in Finance
We live in a time where large numbers of applications are being delivered in shorter turnaround times. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the key to stay relevant in this seemingly ever-evolving technological landscape, which explains the steep increase in the use of multiple cloud hosting for a variety of applications. Therefore, every organization must have vendor partner that can help them manage multiple cloud infrastructure’s monitoring and security concerns. This will also prove beneficial for developers during the testing and automation processes. As an increased number of organizations continues to build such applications, the trend of outsourcing IT infrastructure will experience a steady growth in the coming years.
Latest Technological Influences
The finance sector is heavily leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning for improving chatbot services. Krungsri Bank is currently working with IBM, Microsoft, and a few startup companies for robot process automation that will eventually help us replace the human capital employed for manual and repetitive processes.
When a banking institution decides to pick a cloud-based application, they need to warrant its swift deployment and at the same time, check for its compatibility with the preexisting technology
A Piece of Advice
I have been working in IT for the past three decades, and I have witnessed its evolution cycle first hand. Fortunately, the current market presents organizations with myriad technologies to pick and choose from. While it’s a great practice to try out new technology from time to time, organization leaders must be careful in terms of selecting the next steps to ensure its success. When a banking institution decides to pick a cloud-based application, they need to warrant its swift deployment and at the same time, check for its compatibility with the preexisting technology. For example, traditionally, call banking involved on-premise deployments, high maintenance costs, and a lot of efforts in making small changes to the legacy platform. While choosing a modern replacement for this technology, organizations must carry out a complete vendor analysis considering their solution offering and what changes it may require to the existing security, data management, and the total cost of ownership. Prior to a successful digital transformation, organization leaders such as the CIOs must be able to answer the following questions: Why are you trying to move to a new technology if you can still maintain the old systems? How can we integrate new technology with legacy platforms? Do my employees hold the skill set to manage the new installation?
A successful strategic plan can be achieved only when the CIO works closely with the business and understands the organization’s needs. Every new technology must be tried for at least two to three years. Hence, it’s important to have long-lasting relationships with multiple vendors. We cannot always count on the startups and Fintechs as they have a high chance of being shut down or acquired by a different organization. Prior to selecting a vendor and identifying the cost of outsourcing or servicing, make sure that your company holds a strong financial status, the resources required by the new technology, and expert in-house technicians that can manage the applications. In the past, we used to buy the tools ourselves and ask the service providers to install it, but now we are taking a different approach with the cloud, which eliminates all the concerns surrounding upgrades. The solutions hosted on the cloud helps the organizations in terms of usability, flexibility, and functionality.