The Philippine financial services industry, particularly its local banking sector, can seamlessly serve customers by adopting the latest capabilities in information and communications technologies or ICT, most particularly through cloud computing, according to a high-ranking Globe official.
“It is an inevitable fact that we as customers, whether in the retail or corporate setting, are going digital, by the way we want to be engaged, from various social media platforms to the mobile applications to access content, which are resident in the cloud. This is also true with the way we now do banking transactions,” said Globe Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for International and Business Markets Gil Genio.
Speaking at a recent banking convention where Globe Telecom was a thought-leadership sponsor, Genio expounded on the topic of “Building a Strong Technology Platform,” pointing out that businesses have to follow the digital lifestyle which their customers are now embracing.
“All current customer experience through a mobile phone, or what one does over the internet, is facilitated because there is a cloud infrastructure behind it – for instance, when we do mobile banking. No doubt, without us probably realizing it, we as bank customers are placing information through various cloud infrastructures. However, we need to place necessary platforms in order to properly secure those bits of data.
Genio also shed light on infrastructure spending in setting up various kinds of clouds for banks, citing a 2014 Deloitte study on the right balance and trade-offs between cost and growth: “Similar to a telecommunications company such as Globe, the cost of infrastructure goes up every year, thus we have to keep on investing. From a cost perspective, it is a matter of transitioning from trying to do everything by yourself and changing the cost model, from a capital expenditure-driven one to something like ‘pay-as-you-go.’
As an example, he pointed out that smaller financial institutions such as rural banks are more open to use the cloud. In considering the cloud, a group of 10 rural banks can save on costs from 20 to 25% if they employ what is called a “community cloud,” a shared infrastructure among several organizations where some of the cost savings potential of cloud computing are realized. In terms of security levels, it requires a member organization to impose additional security measures as necessary. This is in contrast with a cheaper public cloud where there are more users but limited control over the cloud environment, or with a private cloud for individual organizations or group of companies where owners have complete jurisdiction, but can be more expensive to put up.
Genio disclosed that banks can start adopting cloud computing with basic steps such as considering colocation in the Globe data centers. Another alternative is to subscribe to Globe IT Enabled Services’ Infrastructure-as-a-Service, both of which are “evidently better options than buying new equipment.” According to him, forward-thinking banks can also maximize their cloud by harnessing the practice of harvesting information through big data and processing those through analytics, which can be used to study and understand customers.
In summary, the Globe EVP and COO pointed out that the capability of a cloud provider such as Globe can help IT companies invest in necessary secure infrastructure. At the end of the day, he said, it is all about “pursuing opportunities while simultaneously trying to limit risks, and getting up to scale and rationalizing operations.”