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In Financial Services, IT Modernization Is Key to Digital Transformation Success

Digital transformation is the key to survival, success and innovation in the financial sector. For companies in banking and other financial services, digital transformation can be a wide-ranging and potentially complex undertaking. Organizations not only have to transform the customer experience and modernize their business models, but they have to do that while still ensuring they can:

  • Meet strict and evolving regulatory guidelines, often across global markets.
  • Deliver superior performance, with no gaps in availability or business continuity.
  • Ensure world-class data privacy, data protection and cybersecurity for customers, partners and others across a broad ecosystem, including the support of evolving industry standards such as Sheltered Harbor.
  • Leverage modern technologies such as hybrid cloud, hyperconverged infrastructure, big data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and automated software-defined architectures to simplify IT and drive business innovation.
  • Empower developers with containers, Kubernetes and other modern tools to accelerate speed to market for new services and modernize the existing application portfolio with mobility and other customer-centric and cloud-native capabilities.

Financial services companies that embrace IT modernization to accelerate digital transformation can achieve a distinct competitive advantage. As noted in a recent report by McKinsey & Co.:

Financial services technology is currently in the midst of a profound transformation, as CIOs and their teams prepare to embrace the next major phase of digital transformation. The challenge they face is significant: In a competitive environment of rising cost pressures, where rapid action and response is imperative, financial institutions must modernize their technology function to support digitization of both the front and back ends of their businesses.

Financial services success stories
Here are some of the ways in which financial services companies around the world are using IT modernization to accelerate digital transformation initiatives.

Baillie Gifford, a financial services and asset management firm based in Edinburgh, Scotland, has a rapidly growing client base and is expanding services for global customers. With its previous IT infrastructure, there were multiple silos and compute, storage and networking were difficult to manage. Moving to hybrid cloud and a modern IT platform with Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure, the company has expanded its footprint and added new services. “Things never stand still in IT,” says Colin Lennox, head of technology and service delivery at Ballie Gifford. “Hybrid cloud and modern infrastructure is very important to Baillie Gifford. It enables us to drive how we deliver services to our clients. Hyperconverged infrastructure allows us to quickly deploy those services, make changes and scale up to better meet the needs of the business. We are currently using artificial intelligence and machine learning to supplement our investment managers. We continue to innovate and will continue to innovate for the foreseeable future.”

Republic Bank is a Louisville-based financial institution with 52 physical locations. A key aspect of the bank’s digital transformation initiative was focused on data protection and management. “Data is paramount to us,” says Sean O’Mahoney, chief technology officer at Republic Bank. “We have to maintain that data for many reasons, and protection of that data is a huge responsibility that we take very seriously. There are regulatory rules that we have to follow. There are credit card industry PCI rules that we have to follow to retain and protect data, but also to manage and know where it is going, and see who is seeing it and whether or not they are supposed to be seeing it.” The bank modernized with Dell EMC Data Protection, leveraging tight integration with VMware for easy data management and automated backups. With Data Domain protection storage, Republic Bank has achieved a 72:1 deduplication ratio and 98.6% data reduction.

Reyl Group is a Geneva-based independent, diversified banking organization that provides financial advisory services and investment solutions to private individuals, global entrepreneurs and independent investors. The company’s model is based on delivering personalized, client-based solutions. “Data is the key, because it helps us better understand clients and serve them with confidentiality, integrity and availability,” says Ben Musso, managing director at REYL Group. The firm’s IT modernization efforts focused on high performance, availability and business continuity. REYL Group chose Dell EMC VxBlock System converged infrastructure, including a Dell EMC PowerMax 2000 array with high-performance NVMe flash storage for its VMware environment. It also leverages Dell EMC Data Domain for high availability and business continuity. The solution delivers submillisecond response times for fast access to data, a smaller footprint to reduce power and cooling costs, six nines availability and SRDF replication to safeguard client information.

Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia needed to modernize data protection with a solution that integrated with VMware vCenter and offered superior performance and deduplication. “As a bank, our business is solely based on our clients’ trust,” says I. Orkhonkhuu, head of the bank’s IT department. “We consider data protection as one of the key elements of our success. Right now, everything is changing from brick and mortar to digital ways of doing business.” The company modernized with Dell EMC PowerProtect DP series appliances, Dell EMC Data Protection Suite and VMware. The results: The bank’s nightly backup window was reduced from eight hours to one hour, and average recovery time was reduced from more than 10 hours to one to five hours. The solution achieved a 13.8x global deduplication rate and 5x savings in backup storage space. 

Taking the next step
In the financial industry, there are many pathways to digital transformation. Organizations can focus on key areas such as backup and business availability, and they can modernize core systems to deliver new levels of performance and agility. For more information on how to optimize your organization’s digital transformation journey, please visit Dell Technologies.

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