Financial Services

Building Tomorrow Today: Financial Services Insights from VMworld 2018

by Manasee Dash

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” That’s what management consultant Peter Drucker said, and what we found top financial services IT leaders worldwide ruminating on at VMworld 2018.

Even as IT execs are managing day-to-day bank operations, they’re architecting the future foundations of their firms. And that’s because IT is really in charge of envisioning and delivering the experiences of tomorrow. Improving customer engagement. Attracting new clients. Enabling new business models. Simplifying transactions. And so much more.

With so much at stake, it’s not surprising banks big and small—in the U.S. and around the world—are establishing their foundations on secure, flexible, and extensible VMware technologies.

In the Financial Services industry workshop, customer panels, breakouts, and booth conversations, these are some of the nuggets bank IT leaders shared about creating their futures:

  • Digital transformation success requires managing expectations and alignment.

Wells Fargo opened with two key lessons from its digital transformation: 1.) Manage expectations. Tell the story properly to business owners. 2.) Alignment. Help people understand how much is enough. And be sure to set deliberate goals year over year.

  • In underdeveloped economies, banks are driving financial inclusion.

ICICI Bank, the second largest bank in India, deployed Tab Banking on a VMware foundation, making it convenient for customers to open a bank account at home or in an office. The bank has deployed 30,000+ Android tablets to sales staff. Over 10,000 new accounts are opened monthly thanks to the convenience of Tab Banking. And its success is leading to new online growth opportunities for ICICI Bank.

  • The digital workspace has become experience, security, and insight-driven.

Users expect choice, flexibility, and seamless experiences, so that’s what financial firms are building. “User choice is imperative in the end user journey,” an IT leader from a large credit card company shared with attendees. And all agreed, no one would dare deliver the VMware Digital Workspace if it wasn’t inherently secure.

  • Regulatory hurdles are less challenging as adoption and understanding of cloud deepens.

Although Level 1 data with PCI is staying on-premises, platforms hosting apps with Level 2 & 3 data are being decided on a case-by-case basis. Financial Services firms have a preference and their cloud of choice is Amazon Web Services. Today banks are building rapid proofs of concept with VMware Cloud on AWS so they can say so long to shadow IT.

  • Data center investment continues. 

Because no one can afford to be unprepared, top banks continue to invest in data centers, some specifically to address disaster recovery initiatives. Again ICICI Bank is leading in this area, modernizing its data center to gain the benefits of agile provisioning of VMs on the fly with its SDDC. It choose VMware because it wanted software to drive its strategy. The bank created a team for private cloud operations and management that is embracing DevOps and containers.

  • Time to market is accelerating new development model adoption.

Firms are moving to developer-centric programming models that support faster delivery to keep up with competitive, time-to-market pressures. Kubernetes is most popular, according to Workshop attendees.

  • Operational efficiency is still a big benefit. 

Modernizing digital foundations with hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud is enabling IT teams to focus less on maintenance and more on innovation. For example, Commonwealth Bank of Australia described their bank’s operations this way. “Our hybrid cloud environment is supported by a very lean IT team of 40 people,” a nod to the tremendous efficiency CBA is achieving with VMware automation and management tools.

VMware 2018 is typically a bellwether for how change is progressing, and after last week, it’s exciting to be able to say the future foundation of financial services IT is looking bright. Share some of your insights on the future of financial services IT at @vmwarefinserv.



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